John Allen says in the NCR:
Then came the telling line: "It's true," the pope said, "that I haven't done very much."
In a sense, of course, he was being modest. Francis has done a great deal, mostly to reverse negative impressions of the church and to afford it a new lease on life. Yet in terms of concrete acts of governance, he had a point.
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
August 4, 2013
We know more and more about the socioeconomic situation Jesus experienced in Galilee in 30 AD. While wealth was growing in the cities of Sepphoris and Tiberias, hunger and destitution were increasing in the villages. The peasants were landless and the landowners built bigger and bigger silos and barns.
In a small tale, preserved by Luke, Jesus reveals what he thinks of that situation so contrary to the plan God wants of a more humane world for all. He doesn't tell this parable to denounce the abuses and outrages of the landowners, but to expose the folly into which they've settled.
An extract from NCR which bears reflection:
For many progressive Catholics, the Benedict years were painful and divisive. But the upside of having a pope that was less pastoral and more rigidly orthodox was that it helped some Catholics break out of some of the trappings of our tradition: the passivity, the clericalism, the adulation of the papacy. Laypeople began to embrace the idea that God has infused all of God's people with deep sacramental power.
Since our new pope is so likeable and so obviously committed to justice for many marginalized groups, it appears that even some of the most liberal Catholics are gradually being lulled back into an odd, filial submission to Francis. Hearing so many English-speaking folk refer to him as "Papa" suggests this pope may even be fulfilling the need for a benevolent, spiritual father. I'm not sure how healthy this is spiritually or how helpful it is for the future of badly needed reforms in our church.
How Catholicism might be revived
Catholics is bringing us a three part essay by Dr Christopher Geraghty. The first part ends with:
The kind of Church we want, the kind of Church I would like to see is more open, more inclusive, more local, decentralized, less legalistic, more pastoral, more women-friendly – a community which can laugh and dance, which sings joyfully and celebrates, which can humbly admit sinfulness and seek forgiveness, one which champions the cause of the poor, of prisoners, the blind, refugees and the disabled. I want a Church which is not frightened of ideas but which encourages its prophets and thinkers, one which searches and struggles to talk to and communicate with the world, not one constipated by wealth, property, dogma, rituals, power and status. Out there in the market-place rather than in the sacristy, challenging secular authority, not sleeping with it, preaching the simple message of the Word of God rather than defending the indefensible. I want the life and the belief system of my Church to be much simpler and more in tune with the style, the life and message of Jesus – and I want it to show a preference for the poor.