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Pope Francis and the New Rome

April 6, 2015 12:06 AM
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Pope Francis and the New Rome

The most radical part of Francis’ papacy is his embrace of the liberalizing principles of Vatican II—from poverty and sexual ethics to church governance.

One Saturday last month, Pope Francis celebrated Mass at Ognissanti (All Saints’) Church in one of Rome’s working-class neighborhoods. Little known to tourists or art historians, Ognissanti was the site of a momentous event in the modern history of the Catholic Church: Exactly 50 years earlier, Pope...

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Comments - 19
chris jones

April 6, 2015 12:20 AM

I know that in the early age of Protestantism, polygamy was considered a more acceptable option than divorce and remarriage. Heck! In this modern age, same sex unions, polygamy, and unlimited divorce/remarriage will all be okay. I guess remarriage might be considered another form of polygamy. Infidelity may become acceptable too!Regulating poverty and redistribution of wealth did not produce good results, just genocide.We must always be careful before casting the first stone, but we don't want brimstone raining down due to cavalier reinterpretation of Christian precepts like Mark 10, etc., and rendering unto God what is Caesar's or vice versa.Although liberalization of certain Church rules could benefit me - I'm starving for the Eucharist - I don't appreciate Caesarean political controversy, I want the best consideration of what is God's will being done.

Stephen Phelan

April 6, 2015 12:19 AM

I hope readers understand that they just read a highly politicized analysis and recent history of the Catholic Church. What nonsense. JPII and B16 embraced VatII and argued for a correct understanding of its texts, to which they contributed and knew something about.They would have scoffed at having their perspective toward the Council characterized as "too much, too fast."Sorry, Mr. Rocca. At the end of the synod, we will see a document that reaffirms Church teaching, including love for those in difficult situations, and confirmation that those living in persistent sin should avoid Communion, for their own good and to avoid scandal. All of this advocacy dressed up as journalism is tiring.


April 6, 2015 12:19 AM

Wow, I'm surprised so many catholics here are expressing their disgust at a Pope who has single-handedly done so much to make the Catholic Church a lot more relevant and popular than it was even 5 years ago - a lot of catholics are actually paying attention, and ex-catholics like me are grudgingly impressed (even though he hasn't done anything about those boy rapist accomplices who still work under him like Bernie Law).What do you guys hate about him? The fact that his principles align much more closely with those of Jesus than your Ayn Rand-inspired version of christianity? The fact that he views gays as real human beings? The fact that he knows that if the church keeps its silly hidebound rules that it'll die?The catholic church is dying, and this guy represents the church's best hope for staunch the bleeding - i'm surprised a guy like him even made it to the top given how the vatican is so corrupt and full of pedophiles.

jeff harris

April 6, 2015 12:16 AM

This Pope is a thorough-going humanist and does not accept the Scripture as God's Word and believes it the record of ancient men who codified their value system via that scripture , according to the age in which they lived. This Pope believes and Teaches that the Church is the mediator of what sin in - based upon the progression of the social and political consciousness of it's members as history unfolds. So now - such sin as "homosexuality" are mere ancient hatreds and not sins at all. Thus he has addressed a transsexual man [a Woman who had her sexual parts surgically removed and replaced with male ones] - as a "man of god" .... and keeps telling the World that he cannot "judge a homosexual person".satan is actually now enthroned upon the Chair of Peter and he is going to use the "scarlet woman" that rides the beast upon the 7 Hills of Rome - to effect his denials and persecutions of the Lord .

C Sousa

April 6, 2015 12:15 AM

It's typical for the Catholic Church nowadays. They re obsessed with the machinations of Vatican rules and regulations, rather than on the Holy Book.All the while, they encourage Catholics to pray to a dead woman and a legion of dead people.

John Smith

April 6, 2015 12:14 AM

Please givens your source for these statements

Paul Rinderle

April 6, 2015 12:14 AM

Vatican II was a Church disaster. We (Catholic Church) have been reeling for 50 years and now this Pope is resurrecting Vatican II thoughts of appeasement to evil (modernity/relativism) again to be in line with the times.To the chagrin of the Media the Pope has not bent on traditional doctrine as expressed in the Catechism and more than once reinforced the traditional family/marriage/abortion traditions but apparently not considered stories worth reenforcing by an atheist media.Vatican II, change everything aura, opened up theChurch to letting in Gay Priests who virtually all promptly did what came natural-- pederasty (post puberty sex). This great, unreported by the atheist media sex scandal is still with us. There still is a glaring coverup by the Cardinals for not indicting these Gay Priests. The seminaries were rampant with homosexual sex/literature. All this hidden from us by our hierarchy. Where is the Truth now/today to us & the world. Its a PC cover-up of homosexuality filth?


April 6, 2015 12:14 AM

Jeff Harris,I'm sure similar things were said by the pharisees about Christ, who showed that compassion trumped the law, by healing on the Sabbath and breaking bread with sinners. Christ came to show us the loving nature of God, not to codify Old Testament teachings. God's word is a living document, revealed in its purest form through the teachings and works of his Son.

Robert Sansone

April 6, 2015 12:13 AM

Obama and this progressive pope deserve each other. They live in a world where they impugn capitalism as unjust, while failing to recognize that their brand of socialism is what crushes people.Never mind that the only source of the help they demand for the poor can only come from capitalist countries and free people.Capitalism and free markets have elevated societies. Socialism has crushed economic freedom along with other basic freedoms. Yet the Catholic church seems in lock step with the socialists.This pope hails from a socialist/fascist led country. Apparently he does not recognize the squalor that socialism and facism have brought across the globe and that he apprently endorses in his native country.

Dan Coronado

April 6, 2015 12:12 AM

Mass is about love. You love someone? God does too. He loves you it or not.

Gene Sweeney

April 6, 2015 12:11 AM

What is this Pope's position on the long standing Catholic tradition of protecting its pedophile priests?

Galen Manapat

April 6, 2015 12:10 AM

Posting limited Converted to Christianity through a US Christian para-church organization and nurtured and taught the Bible in two Evangelical bible believing Protestant churches on the east coast.Glad to see this discussion among Catholics.But I honestly think protestants have figured a few things out: sex within lifetime commitment is a good thing. All Anglicans raise Christian families. Genesis model: Adam and Eve not Steve and Fred; male and female is "normative", gay is not. Living together NOT "normative" Get married ! birth control: possible, but God said be fruitful and multiply. People are sinners. Sin must be dealt with, but Church discipline is for RESTORING repentant sinners. Giving: not forced, but as aspect of stewardship.


April 6, 2015 12:09 AM

This essay and the approach of Pope Francis are immensely important in illustrating the difficulties and consequences of change. With new technology and larger populations new forms of societal organization, norms of social behavior, and methods for their dissemination and acceptance become necessary. With change also come new understandings of the role of morality. These can be left to drift and be redefined by individuals at their whim or anchored to old but updated understandings of right and wrong.If unconstrained they can result in a loss of the bonds that have held people together as societies, and lead to anarchy and chaos. If constrained they can become too rigid. In the latter case it is important that the constraining rules be decided by authorities acceptable to society in both the moral as well as the secular realms. What is clear, however, is that there has to be some ultimate authority that defines right and wrong and enforces rules, whether a secular or a religious authority or both. It is obvious there are no easy answers.

Domingo Trassens

April 6, 2015 12:08 AM

Pope Francis is not building a “New Rome”. He is trying to rebuild the Catholic Church through the authentic teaching of Jesus.

Gary Johnson

April 6, 2015 12:07 AM

Be very, very careful of this pope...that's all I'm going to say....


April 6, 2015 12:07 AM

I think the author rebukes their own thesis when they state "he is a son of Vatican II". If that is the case, then Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI were certainly fathers of Vatican II and would have a much better understanding of what was intended in the council. The author's thesis does not seem like a strong one in that regard then if they presume that Francis knows what was actually intended.

Angel Covarrubias

April 6, 2015 12:06 AM

This article sure is receiving a great deal of attention!

r lyne

April 6, 2015 12:06 AM

Indeed, marriages are often something that one needs to "escape" ! Well said! But beyond that, your post does not address a whole host of life issues including but not limited to infidelity, abuse or abandonment. But, in your 'morality', the other spouse suffering on the other end should just tough it out for the sake of the "contract". That is immoral. It is the very definition of abuse.

Andrew Malone

April 6, 2015 12:06 AM

God Bless the Pope but seriously has anyone even bother to read anything he has written instead inserting their agenda into his mouth? Especially Rocca.We are dealing with an amiable simpleton from a failed socialist backwater in Latin America who is cast adrift in the tempestuous seas of a broken culture trying to make sense of it. He might be exactly what the Holy Spirit intended but he isn't anywhere near as impressively articulate, intellectual coherent or well educated as his immediate predecessor probably back to the early middle ages.I thought there was a whiff of cultural backwardness when it became known that he learned to speak Ukrainian and Piedmontese but not English avoiding the trouble of communicating with the most affluent and educated portion of humanity including the Anglosphere, India and every aspiring nations. Really?