Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Pope Francis in the U.S.

Pope Francis arrived in Washington, D.C. yesterday for his first visit to the United States.

Much has been written in the lead-up to this historic visit and I'm sure much more will be written in the days to come. My own thoughts on the pope's visit aren't that profound, in large part because I have no real enthusiasm for the whole feudal monarchical papal system – a system of authority and governance totally at odds with the model of leadership embodied by Jesus. Quite frankly, I'd rather expend time and energy on evolving the Catholic community beyond both papalism and its "diseased system" of clericalism.

The purpose of this post, however, isn't to belabor this point. After all, a whole Wild Reed series, "Progressive Perspectives on the Papacy" is devoted to exploring the pitfalls of and alternatives to papalism. Rather, I share today some perspectives (along with a number of relevant links) that I find both interesting and helpful in the midst of the media hoopla surrounding the Bishop of Rome's U.S. visit.

A glimmer of hope

I start with the perspective of E.J. Dionne Jr., shared in his recent Washington Post op-ed. I appreciate how Dionne reminds us of how in a number of significant ways, Francis is more radical than many "liberals." It's important to note that the word "radical" is being used here in its deepest and truest sense. All too often "radical" is erroneously equated with extremism of one kind or another. Yet that’s not what it means. It actually means to go to the root, to recognize and address the underlying essence of a given reality, along with the deep-seated issues, questions and/or problems associated with it. Pope Francis does this with regards to economic and environmental issues. He is yet to do it, however, with regards to issues of gender and sexuality. This discrepancy is problematic for many people, and stems from the fact that the Vatican employs two conflicting worldviews when dealing with different areas of human inquiry and experience.

Yet Dionne finds hope in many of the pope's actions, which he argues speak louder than his words, words often reflective of and thus limited by the impoverished and dysfunctional doctrines of the "official" church. By and large, the pope's actions tend to favor human experience over doctrine, a favoring which in turn has, says Dionne, "radically reordered the priorities of the church." At the core of this development is the pope's focus on human encounter and experience, and in this I see an ever-so-slight glimmer of hope for gay people and their loved ones. One reason it's a slight glimmer is because of the ongoing treatment of women in the church. They continue to be left out of the pope's "revolution" of encounter. It's a scandalous and demoralizing situation that doesn't bode well for LGBT people.

Despite this (or perhaps because he's unmindful of it), Dionne writes that: "It’s hard to see how progressives don’t come out ahead [with Francis]. He is not fighting culture wars. He is fighting against them. This, in part, is what accounts for his broad popularity among former Catholics, Americans of other faiths and even secularists and atheists."

Continues Dionne:

But seeing Francis only as a player in our political fights is misleading. To begin with, he is — both spiritually and politically — far more radical than most Americans, including most liberals.

While he has been quite specific on some political questions (the climate and immigration especially), what characterizes his mission is an effort to turn our notions of who counts and who has the strongest claim on our attention upside down.

. . . In a moving New York Times piece about one of the pope’s planned stops in New York, columnist Jim Dwyer described the invitation list: “carwashers . . . Hudson Valley farmworkers, day-laborers, immigrant mothers, and teenagers and children who have crossed the border without their parents.” In Philadelphia, Francis will visit the city’s largest jail. In Washington, he will bless the needy who get help from Catholic Charities. His ministry will be right out of what the Catholic Mass says of Jesus: “To the poor he proclaimed the good news of salvation, to prisoners freedom, and to those in sorrow joy.”

Francis will be calling everyone (liberals no less than others) out of complacency.

A gay Catholic invitation

The second perspective I share today is that of Jeff Vomund (left), a member of Dignity/Washington. Vomund has an incredibly well-written and inspiring commentary in the September 20, 2015 issue of The Washington Post. To date, it's the best "gay Catholic" commentary I've read in relation to the pope's visit to the U.S..

In its recognition and understanding of the lived experiences of gay people, Vomund's perspective stands in stark contrast to that of Ron Belgau, the only gay person officially sanctioned to appear (along with his mother) at the upcoming World Meeting of Families. Belgau, a self-described celibate gay man, sees "chaste and holy intimacy as a model for Christ-centered spiritual friendship" between gay people. Echoing the stance of the Vatican, Belgau maintains that it is type of friendship that is "corrupted" by "homosexual activity," which is a reductive and demeaning term for the rich and complex reality of sexual encounters and/or relationships between people of the same gender. In contrast to Belgau's limited perspective, Vomund's words reflect what I and many other Catholics consider to be a wise, spacious, and holy understanding of homosexuality.

Following is Jeff Vomund's September 20 Washington Post op-ed reprinted in its entirety. It's entitled "An Invitation to Pope Francis from D.C.’s Gay Catholic Community."

Pope Francis, welcome to Washington! Like the rest of the Catholic world and people of good faith everywhere, we have felt challenged to find God in all people by your focus on the poor and the outcast. We watched you wash the feet of women and non-Christians and were inspired to be more inclusive. We read your words on the moral imperatives caused by our climate crisis and were challenged to change our relationship to the Earth. But never have we been more energized by your words than when, on the first foreign trip of your papacy, you said this to a reporter who asked you about gay priests: “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has goodwill, who am I to judge?”

As an organization that provides a spiritual home to LGBTQ Catholics, Dignity/Washington works for respect and justice for people of all sexual orientations, genders and gender identities in the Catholic Church. We know what it’s like to feel judged. For being honest about our sexuality. For wanting to live happy and open lives with families and friends. And, indeed, for wanting to be who we are — LGBTQ and Roman Catholic.

We also love our church. We love gathering as a community around the altar for the Eucharist. We love the scriptures and the liturgy and the faith tradition that has shaped our lives. Although we as an organization have been exiled from Catholic buildings and rejected by Catholic leaders because we want to live our sexuality openly and without apology, we are still Catholic, and we still look to you for leadership.

That is why we are so grateful for your upcoming presence in our city. We await your arrival with hope and expectation. And we invite you, Holy Father, in the words of Jesus to his first disciples, to “come and see.”

So often when the church has made pronouncements about homosexuality and the LGBTQ community, it has done so from a distance. Despite the high percentage of gay clergy in the Catholic Church — or perhaps because of it — Vatican and hierarchical statements about homosexuality and LGBTQ people have felt like an intellectual exercise in natural law and interpretations of scriptural text, not statements that speak to the great commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves. “Intrinsically disordered,” as the church refers to homosexual acts, may be a legitimate philosophical category, but it is not a label to put on brothers and sisters.

We are, like you and all church leaders, human beings who fall in love, have to learn how to forgive and want to grow old surrounded by friends and family. It is not the church’s judgment about us that has hurt so much, but rather our being judged without being known. For if church leaders knew us, they would also know the love that surrounds us. They would know couples who have cared for each other in sickness and in health — indeed not parting until death. They would see the power of understanding, especially the understanding of parents and children, as we have struggled with our families to make sense of who we are. They would know the joy and laughter that come from friendship and the powerful bond that comes, at times, from feeling outcast together. For any who know us would know that what church teaching has labeled “disordered” is actually a gift that gives order to our love and to our lives. From the distance of philosophical theology, that might seem impossible. But up close I promise one cannot fail to see it.

And so, we invite you, Holy Father, as well as Cardinal Donald Wuerl, our own archbishop, and all of the bishops and priests in whose dioceses and parishes we live, to “come and see.” Get to know the strength of love that survives despite ridicule and cultural rejection. Experience firsthand couples who have been together for decades praying and seeking to do God’s will. See us in our need for forgiveness, but also in the sharing of our gifts. We are confident that, like those who experienced Jesus firsthand, you would recognize as did the apostle John in his first Letter, “Everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.”

We might disagree about the definition of a civil or a sacramental marriage. We might not see eye to eye on the purpose of sexual activity in a same-sex relationship. But we can begin by simply getting to know the love that God has for each of us. We could share that love with you, and you with us — or any other church leader who would be willing to “come and see.” We believe that once you got to see and know our love, it would no longer make sense to call it “disordered” or to fire people who work for and serve the church while sharing that love. We believe that once you came to share in our love for one another, labeling it as a “cross” we had to bear, or treating it as less deserving of government protection, would make no more sense to you than it does to us.

Holy Father, “come and see” for yourself how God is made flesh in our liturgies and in our loves, as in any other Catholic community, and you will not have to ask: “Who am I to judge?” Because, again echoing John, you will speak of “what we have seen with our eyes . . . and touched with our hands” and proclaim “the eternal life . . . that was . . . made visible to us” so that we might “have fellowship” together and “our joy may be complete.”

– Jeff Vomund
The Washington Post
September 20, 2015

Related Off-site Links and Updates:

LGBT Catholics and the Pope's Visit
Gay Catholic Families Plan Pilgrimage to See Pope – Lisa Wangsness (The Boston Globe, September 13, 2015).
Gay, Celibate Man Is Official Face of LGBT Catholicism for Pope's Visit – David Gibson (Religion News Service, September 14, 2015).
The "Francis Effect": Putting Rhetoric Together with Reality on Eve of Pope's Visit – William D. Lindsey (Bilgrimage, September 17, 2015).
White House Invites LGBT Catholics and Advocates to Papal Ceremony – Michael K. Lavers (The Washington Blade, September 16, 2015).
Fired Teacher and Wife to Be at White House for Francis' Arrival – Chris Brennan (The Philadelphia Inquirer, September 21, 2015).
Sr. Jeannine Gramick, LGBT Ministry Pioneer, to Meet Pope Francis – Terry Weldon (Queering the Church, September 18, 2015).
Vatican Angered After White House Invites LGBT Activists To Pope's Welcome Ceremony – Rachel Witkin (The New Civil Rights Movement, September 19, 2015).
Conservatives (Not Vatican) Outraged at White House Guest List for Pope – David Gibson (National Catholic Reporter, September 21, 2015).
So What if Pope Francis Meets a Transgender Catholic at the White House? – Nathan Schneider (America, September 20, 2015)
Amid Mixed Messages and Controversy, LGBT Catholics Prepare for Pope’s Visit – Alex Kacala (Logo, September 19, 2015).
Gay U.S. Catholics Will Greet Pope with Rainbow Rosaries, Not Protests – Laila Kearney and Elly Park (Reuters via Religion News Service, September 20, 2015).
Gay Catholics' Message to Pope Francis Ahead of U.S. Visit – Anna Bressanin (BBC World News, September 22, 2015).
LGBT Catholics and Allies Will Welcome Pope Francis to the White House – Bob Shine (Bondings 2.0, September 22, 2015).
I Am Catholic and I Am Gay. This I Know for Sure – Kristen Ostendorf (The Huffington Post, September 22, 2015).
LGBT Advocates Call on Pope Francis to "Welcome Us Home" – Rebecca Ruiz (Mashable, September 23, 2015).
Outsiders Keep the Faith – Susan Milligan (U.S. News, September 23, 2015).
Pope Francis Isn't As Progressive on LGBTQ Issues As You Think – German Lopez (Vox, September 23, 2015).
LGBT Catholics Alarmed With Pope’s Remarks About "Unjust Discrimination" – Dominic Holden (BuzzFeed, September 24, 2015).
Pope Francis’ Visit is Ambiguous on LGBT Issues Thus Far – And It’s Not Over Yet – Bob Shine (Bondings 2.0, September 25, 2015.
What Pope Francis Really Said About (Gay) Marriage – and What He Did Not – Michelangelo Signorile (The Huffington Post, September 25, 2015).
Openly Gay Comedian Mo Rocca Reads at Papal Mass; Francis Remains Unclear on LGBT Front – Bob Shine (Bondings 2.0, September 26, 2015).
Openly Gay Reporter Mo Rocca's Starring Role in Pope's Mass Thrills LGBT Advocates – Daniel Marans (The Huffington Post, September 26, 2015).
Pope to Bishops: Don’t Blame Others for Gay Marriage and Family Problems – David Gibson (Religion News Service, September 27, 2015).
New Ways Ministry Welcomes Pope Francis to Philly with Catholic Gender Identity Workshop – Bob Shine (Bondings 2.0, September 27, 2015).
Here's Why a Gay Dad is Inviting Pope Francis to Dinner – Rob Watson (The Huffington Post, September 27, 2015).
At LGBT Picnic, a Pope's Words – If Not His Presence – Chris Brennan (Philadelphia Inquirer, September 27, 2015).
Papal Visit Prompts Calls for LGBT-Inclusive Church – Michael K. Lavers (The Washington Blade, September 27, 2015).
Before Departing USA, Pope Francis Offers His Strongest Words for New Approaches to Old Issues – Francis DeBerardo (Bondings 2.0, September 28, 2015).
On Plane Back to Rome, Pope Says Workers Have "Human Right" to Refuse Same-Sex Marriage Licenses – Alastair Jamieson (NBC News, September 28, 2015).
Pope's Visit: Mixed Messages for LGBT People – Kittredge Cherry (Jesus in Love Blog, September 27, 2015).

Ahead of the Pope's Visit, the Pundits Weigh In
Pope Francis’s Actions Speak Louder Than His Words – E.J. Dionne Jr. (The Washington Post, September 20, 2015).
Will Pope Francis Be Polite or Prophetic? – Ray McGovern (The Baltimore Sun, September 20, 2015).
Some American Catholics Really Don't Like Pope Francis. Here's Why – Amanda Erickson (The Washington Post, September 18, 2015).
On Fact-Free Flamboyance: George Will vs. Pope Francis – Anthony Annett (Commonweal, September 21, 2015).
No, Pope Francis Is Not a 'Progressive' or a 'Liberal' – He's a Priest – Emma Green (The Atlantic, September 22, 2015).
Why U.S. Bishops Aren't Embracing Pope Francis' Climate Push – Suzanne Goldenberg (Mother Jones, September 21, 2015).
A Moral Challenge for Pope Francis – Ray McGovern (Common Dreams, September 22, 2015).
Three Scenarios for Pope Francis' U.S. Visit – Massimo Faggioli (The Huffington Post, September 23, 2015).

The Junípero Serra Controversy
 Why Is the ‘Radical Pope’ About to Canonize a Priest Who Helped Enslave and Murder Native Americans? – Richard Kreitner (The Nation, September 18, 2015).
What Is Driving Pope Francis’ Canonization of Junípero Serra? – Jamie Manson (National Catholic Reporter, September 19, 2015).
Suzan Shown Harjo to Pope Francis: Don't Canonize Junípero Serra – Suzan Shown Harjo (Indian Country, September 21, 2015).
Native Groups Protest Pope Francis’ Canonization of Junípero Serra Over Role in California GenocideDemocracy Now! (September 23, 2015).
Native Americans Make Last-Ditch Plea Against Serra Canonization – Vinnie Rotondaro (National Catholic Reporter, September 23, 2015).
Pope Makes California Missionary a Saint – AFP via Yahoo! News (September 23, 2015).

Day 1 of the Pope's U.S. Visit

Pope Francis in the USA: Calling for Revolution of Tenderness, Pope Touches Down in Richest NationDemocracy Now! (September 23, 2015).

Day 2 of the Pope's U.S. Visit
Pope Francis Opens His U.S. Visit With Message of Mercy and Encounter – Bob Shine (Bondings 2.0, September 24, 2015).
Pope Francis Gets Political in White House Address – Nahal Toosi (Politico, September 23, 2015).
Pope Francis' Speech at the White HouseMillennial (September 23, 2015).
A Little Girl With a Message for the Pope – Andy Newman (New York Times, September 23, 2015).
Pope's Address to Bishops May Have Been His Most Important – Tom Roberts (National Catholic Reporter, September 24, 2015).
Francis Tells U.S. Bishops to be "Promoters of the Culture of Encounter" – Joshua J. McElwee (National Catholic Reporter, September 23, 2015).
Pope Francis to Bishops: Reject "Harsh and Divisive" Battles, Be Open to Others – David Gibson (Religion News Service, September 23, 2015).
Pope Francis' Speech to the Bishops of the United States of AmericaNew York Times (September 23, 2015).
Angry Conservatives Insist Pope Francis is a Fake Christian – David Horsey (Los Angeles Times, September 23, 2015).
Pope Will Dine with Homeless, Not Politicians After Addressing Congress – Stephen Collinson (KUTV, September 22, 2015).

Day 3 of the Pope's U.S. Visit
Francis, Citing Day and Merton, Pushes Congress to Pursue Common Good – Joshua J. McElwee (National Catholic Reporter, September 24, 2015).
Pope Calls for End to Death Penalty in Speech to Congress – Alana Horowitz Satlin (The Huffington Post, September 24, 2015).
Full Text of Pope Francis' Speech to CongressAmerica (September 24, 2015).
Day and Merton: The Catholic Radicals Francis Cited – Thomas C. Fox (National Catholic Reporter, September 24, 2015).
Why Pope Francis Cited Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton – Lily Rothman (Time, September 24, 2015).
Standing Before Congress, Pope Francis Calls Out the "Industry of Death": The Arms Trade, War Profiteering, and Even the "War on Terror" Itself – Phyllis Bennis and Manuel Perez-Rocha (Institute for Policy Studies, September 24, 2015).
Conservative Points in Pope's Speech Include Liberal "Chasers" – Pamela Miller (Religion Dispatches, September 24, 2015).
The Pope Handled His Congressional Critics With Perfection – Shawn Drury (Blue Nation Review, September 24, 2015).

Day 4 of the Pope's U.S. Visit
In UN Speech, Pope Francis Blasts "Selfish and Boundless Thirst for Power and Material Prosperity"Democracy Now! (September 25, 2015).
Pope Francis' Address to the United Nations General AssemblyHuffPost Religion (September 25, 2015).
Pope Prays for Peace in "Our Violent World" in Service with Faith Leaders at 9/11 Memorial – Maurice Timothy Reidy (America, September 25, 2015).

At 9/11 Site, Pope Prays with Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, Buddhists and Hindus – Lauren Markoe (Religion News Service, September 25, 2015).
At Ground Zero, Francis Asks 9/11 Families to Be Instruments of Peace – Joshua J. McElwee (National Catholic Reporter, September 25, 2015).
Pope Goes Back to School, Meets Students and Community in Harlem – David Agren (Religion News Service via National Catholic Reporter, September 25, 2015).
At New York Mass, Francis Describes How to Be a Saint in the City – Joshua J. McElwee (National Catholic Reporter, September 25, 2015).
A Holy Father's Day in New York City – Matt Stout (Boston Herald, September 26, 2015).

Day 5 of the Pope's U.S. Visit
At Independence Hall, Francis Links Religious Liberty and Cultural Identity – Brian Roewe (National Catholic Reporter, September 26, 2015).
At Independence Hall, Pope Offers a Broad Vision of Religious Freedom – Jim Yardley and Daniel J. Wakin (New York Times, September 26, 2015).
Pope Francis in Philadelphia Mass Calls for Church to Place Greater Value on Women – Alastair Jamieson, Katie Primm, Kasie Hunt, Tracy Connor and Elizabeth Chuck (NBC News, September 26, 2015).

Pope Francis Watches Dancers from the Pennsylvania Ballet – Getty Images (September 26, 2015).
Pope Francis: "Let's Protect the Family" – David Chang, Jim Iovino and Josh Kleinbaum (NBC News, September 26, 2015).
In Philadelphia, Pope Francis Urges Laity to Strengthen Church – Agence France-Presse via NDTV (September 2015).

Day 6 of the Pope's U.S. Visit
Before Pope's Farewell Mass, Visits with Bishops and Inmates – Daniel J. Wakin (The New York Times, September 27, 2015).
Pope Francis Meets with Survivors of Sex Abuse – Carol Kuruvilla (The Huffington Post, September 27, 2015).
Pope Francis Speaks to Bishops on Gay Marriage and Families in Philadelphia – Jaweed Kaleem (The Huffington Post, September 27, 2015).
Pope Francis Wraps Up Joyful U.S. Visit with Big Open-Air Mass – Nicole Winfield and Rachel Zoll (Associated Press via Yahoo! News, September 27, 2015).
Francis Bids Farewell, Tells Catholics to Avoid "Perversion" of "Narrow" Faith – David Gibson (Religion News Service, September 27, 2015).
Francis' Last Message to America: Don't Be Afraid of New Things! – Joshua J. McElwee (National Catholic Reporter, September 27, 2015).
Pope Leaves U.S. After Moving 6-Day Visit – Antonia Blumberg (The Huffington Post, September 27, 2015).
Pope Uses Popularity to Chart New Direction for Church and U.S. – Rachel Zoll (Associated Press via Yahoo! News, September 28, 2015).
Pope Wades into U.S. Gay Marriage Debate After Historic Visit – Scott Malone (Reuters via Yahoo! News, September 28, 2015).
Aboard Papal Plane, the Pope Just Handed Kim Davis a Huge Win – Reuters via The Huffington Post (September 28, 2015).
On Plane Back to Rome, Pope Says Workers Have "Human Right" to Refuse Same-Sex Marriage Licenses – Alastair Jamieson (NBC News, September 28, 2015).
What the Pope Really Said About Kim Davis – Jack Jenkins (Think Progress, September 28, 2015).
En Route to Rome, Pope Francis Reaffirms Ban on Women's Ordination – Jamie Manson (National Catholic Reporter, September 28, 2015).

Voices Calling Francis and the Church to Go Further
A Letter to Pope Francis – Joan Chittister (Benetvision, September 19, 2015).
Francis Falters in Addressing Sex Abuse – Dennis Coday (National Catholic Reporter, September 23, 2015).
Abuse Victims Blast Pope’s Praise of Bishops – Barbara Blaine (SNAP, September 23, 2015).
Pope Francis' Gesture Towards Sex Abuse Victims Wasn't Nearly Enough -- Charles P. Pierce (Esquire, September 28, 2015).
Seven Arrested After Group Seeking Ordination of Female Priests Protests Pope Francis in Washington – Polly Mosendz (Newsweek, September 23, 2015).
Theologian: "Gender Insights Challenge Priesthood Theology" – Thomas C. Fox (National Catholic Reporter, September 19, 2015).
What a Catholic Mom Wants the Pope to Learn from Her Rabbi Daughter – Cindy Skrzycki (Forward, September 21, 2015).
Pope Francis’ Revolution Has Left Out Women – Lisa Miller (New York Magazine, September 23, 2015).
Five Minutes with Francis: What Women Want – NCR Staff (National Catholic Reporter, September 24, 2015).
A Church That Dreams of Rights for Women Can Be Great, Too – Jamie Manson (National Catholic Reporter, September 25, 2015).
Pope Francis: Apply the "Golden Rule" to Women in the Catholic Church – Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite (The Huffington Post, September 28, 2015).
Francis, the Perfect 19th-Century Pope – Maureen Dowd (The New York Times, September 26, 2015).
Onondaga Nation Members Felt Disrespected During Pope Francis Visit in NYC – Sarah Moses (, September 25, 2015).
Pope Francis' Careful Side-Step – Steven Newcomb (Indian Country, September 26, 2015).

9/30/15 UPDATE:
DignityUSA Responds to News of
Meeting Between Pope Francis and Kim Davis

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Quote (and Reality Check) of the Day – September 1, 2015
Quote (and Question) of the Day – January 22, 2015
Quote of the Day – October 31, 2014
LGBT Catholics to Pope Francis: Let Us "Work Together Towards Creating a Church Where All Families Know That We Are Truly Loved and Welcomed"
How the Pope's Recent Remarks Highlight a Major Discrepancy in Church Teaching
Why I Take Hope in Pope Francis' Statement on Gay Priests
On the Issue of Contraception, the Catholic Clerical Caste Does Not Speak for "the Church," Let Alone "Religion"
Progressive Perspectives on the Papacy (Part 1)
Progressive Perspectives on the Papacy (Part 2)
Progressive Perspectives on the Papacy (Part 3)
Progressive Perspectives on the Papacy (Part 4)
Progressive Perspectives on the Papacy (Part 5)
Beyond Papalism
Casanova-Inspired Reflections on Papal Power - at 30,000 ft.
Somewhere In Between
Beyond the Hierarchy: The Blossoming of Liberating Catholic Insights on Sexuality
Remembering and Reclaiming a Wise, Spacious, and Holy Understanding of Homosexuality


Mary Lynn Murphy said...

Thanks for your posting, Michael. Balanced and thoughtful.

Ed said...

I am happy that this Pope is finally speaking out about dialogue and social justice and immigrants and the poor. etc., while also continuing to encourage progress on other important issues. But I am pissed as hell at those demonizing him for not being perfect.

Mary Lynn Murphy said...

I think you can applaud some of the Pope's messages and not others. His major theme of "We Can Do Better" certainly resonates with me, and I'm sure with most Americans. I am no longer Catholic. I am a feminist, and have been involved in the gay rights movement for 20 years. Despite that, I am willing to hear the Pope's positive messages and be touched by his obviously good heart.

Steve Wilson said...

Rome wasn't rebuilt in a day. Though I am surprised at the selective interpretations people have made about things the pope didn't actually say.

Sandra Boes O'Brien said...

Pope Francis isn't going to change church doctrine today, but hopefully he is paving the way for changes in the future.