“The pope looks at the world in a different way. He looks at the world, he looks at economics, he looks at the environment, politics from the bottom up, from the outside in, and those aren’t Washington’s priorities or Washington’s ways. So we’ve had an alternative vision and a great example, and my hope is we listened, we learned, and we maybe even might follow his example,” says John Carr, director of Georgetown University’s Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life. More
American Catholics, says Rev. Thomas Reese of National Catholic Reporter, live out their faith in the local parish, and “they want to meet somebody like Pope Francis. And if the clergy and the bishops and the people aren’t like Pope Francis, or namely like Jesus, more welcoming, compassionate, loving, they’re going to turn around and never come back.” More
The Catholic Church’s stand on marriage, divorce, and contraceptives can seem out of step with the modern world—even to Catholics. Those who want to see reforms, such as making the process for obtaining an annulment easier, have been encouraged by recent statements of Pope Francis. But unhappy Catholics are still leaving the Church, and bishops will have to decide at a meeting in Rome next month on the family in the Church and in the contemporary world what to try to do about it. More
The Roman Catholic Church’s understanding of the permanent nature of marriage “is really meant to be a countercultural position,” says Professor Susan Ross of Loyola University Chicago’s theology department. “The Church’s challenge is to find a way to hold marriage as this sacred bond, while recognizing the very human situation in which it falls apart.” More
Pope Francis arrives in the US on Tuesday, September 22nd, for five busy days in Washington, New York, and Philadelphia. Managing editor Kim Lawton asks American Catholics about the beliefs that shape the Pope’s view of the world, and Stephen Schneck and Tom Roberts joins host Bob Abernethy in the studio for a conversation about their expectations for the pope’s trip. More
Sister Maureen Fiedler, host of the public radio program “Interfaith Voices,” asks if lurking among the papal candidates there is “a pope who will look at the human equality of all persons, including men and women.” More
We spoke with Catholics about their reaction to the news that Pope Benedict will step down at the end of February and what they hope to see in his successor.