22 setembro 2013

A pope for the Catholic middle; countdown to the G-8

Having spent the early part of this week in Australia and New Zealand, I'm arriving today in Rome, where the buzz is about Pope Francis' blockbuster interview with 16 Jesuit publications around the world, including America magazine in the United States, in which he pointedly rejects a church of what he calls "small-minded rules."

In political terms, Francis says something out loud that arguably had already become clear, but with a degree of candor that popes don't often provide: "I have never been a right-winger."

At the level of content, there's not much groundbreaking in the interview with respect to his hour-and-20-minute press conference aboard the papal plane July 28. He offers the same blend of traditional doctrine with a deep emphasis on mercy, stressing that the church needs to be more pastoral and less judgmental in engaging questions such as abortion, homosexuality and women.

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