I've been following Pope Francis I since the announcement of his elevation. Read my posts here or via excerpts/reposts on Huffington Post.
Friday, January 16, 2015
Saturday, May 10, 2014
Last week Prefect of the Confederation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) Gerhard Mueller, condemned the Leadership Conference Women Religious (LCWR) for honoring Catholic theologian Elizabeth A. Johnson and her book Quest of the Living God. The CDF argues that the book fails to be in accord with Roman Catholic doctrine. This magisterial spanking aims to dictate to a group of highly intelligent, well-educated women which books are suitable for their honors; promises to uber-boost sales of an academic work; and, I believe, puts the pope in a tricky spot. (See my 2012 piece, "Just Buy 'Just Love' for more on how such condescending condemnation works.) The pope is the pope. He can speak when he likes. But I think this pope, thistime around, unlike the last time around, will have to say something.
Posted by Michele Madigan Somerville at 12:21 PM
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Any movement rooted in love, justice, and equality is of the Divine and cannot be dtopped
My pain at having been kicked out of the priesthood has allowed me to glimpse the exclusion and discrimination that people of color, women, and gay people in our Church have experienced for centuries.
Read more of my writing on this topic:
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
And worried observers are already asking whether Pope Emeritus Ratzinger is in fact operating as a kind of "shadow Pope" behind the scenes through Müller and Georg Gänswein, [Benedict's] secretary and Prefect of the Papal Household, whom he also promoted to archbishop.
Kung reminded of us the possibility that Joseph Ratzinger who continues to reside in the Vatican, may still, to some extent. run things. This is not a preposterous notion. Ratzinger's was one of the strong voices of the Second Vatican Council. He has been in the College of Cardinals since 1977 and is one of the world's most accomplished Roman Catholic theologians. The Emeritus Pope, who has wielded immense influence in the Vatican for half-a-century, could still be calling a few of its shots.
While it is true Ratzinger wore more bling and fancier shoes than does the current Holy Father, Ratzinger steadfastly characterized greed and warfare as sinful. Under Ratzinger, cardinals in dioceses that desired it were invited to minister to LGBT Catholics in their parishes. Under John Paul II and Ratzinger, at the parish level, movement in the direction of allowing divorced and remarried Catholics to receive the sacraments was made. Under John Paul II and Ratzinger, we saw more and more women in pastoral ministry and working on altars, and the College of Cardinals was discussing an exemption to the prohibition of artificial contraception to arrest the spread of HIV/AIDS. Ratzinger made many horrendous remarks about "homosexuality" but when he did so he cited the very same doctrine (Roman Catholic Catechism) Pope Francis has yet to challenge, revise or update explicitly. (Francis has aimed to reframe some teaching in an implicit way.) Ratzinger did classify being homosexual as a "disorder," but--not nearly so often or strenuously as he ought to have--he also condemned homophobic abuse.
The church says no. That door is closed.
Pope Francis extolls the importance of dialogue ("words which set hearts on fire") throughout In his recent (November 2013) encyclical Evangelii Gaudium<, yet reinforces his hierarchy's misogynistic ordination policy thus:
...The reservation of the priesthood to males, as a sign of Christ the Spouse who gives himself in the Eucharist, is not a question open to discussion...
The implication therein is that Catholics should discuss everything but ordaining women. I find this disgraceful.
bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a church which is unhealthy from being confined...
By elevating Jorge Bergoglio to the throne of Peter, the cardinals may have prevented an all out schism. The novel pope-love at hand, the likes of which the church has not seen since John XXIII, foreclosed on a schism and now seems substantive and powerful enough to keep the pews and Vatican coffers full. Who but an ultra-charismatic leader determined to preach on the divine character of humility could have pulled this off?
Monday, September 23, 2013
"Like Jesus, he's saying, hate the sin, love the sinner," Cardinal Dolan said, referring to Pope Francis's recent comments.
Monday, July 29, 2013
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Over the pope as the expression of the binding claim of ecclesiastical authority there still stands one's own conscience, which must be obeyed before all else, if necessary even against the requirement of ecclesiastical authority. Conscience confronts [the individual] with a supreme and ultimate tribunal, and one which in the last resort is beyond the claim of external social groups, even of the official church.
("Commentary on the Documents of Vatican II", ed. Vorgrimler, 1968, on Gaudium et spes, part 1, chapter 1.) Yet we saw how quickly that fell by the wayside when Ratzinger excommunicated of and defrocked Nobel Peace Prize-nominated, Viet Nam Purple Heart Maryknoll priest Roy Bourgeois for following his conscience in the context of the ordination of women. By the end of Ratzinger's stint, the pope emeritus appeared to think conscience a close second to obedience--to himself.
Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio not only called the new law "a scheme to destroy God's plan"; he termed it "a real and dire anthropological throwback," as if homosexuality were evolutionarily inferior to heterosexuality.
Although we do not yet have his explicit statements and papal documents to go by, it is probably reasonable to extrapolate. It's not hard to guess where Pope Francis I will stand on the proper role of women in the church.