Pope Francis: Concern for the Poor is Rooted in the Gospel, Not Communism

Bg_logo_ftPope Francis: Concern for the Poor is Rooted in the Gospel, Not Communism

Discusses Ethics Within Social and Economic Systems in New Interview

Vatican City, January 12, 2015 (Zenit.org) Junno Arocho Esteves | 42 hits

In an interview with Vatican journalists Andrea Tornielli and Giacomo Galeazzi, Pope Francis said that concern for the poor is in the Gospel, and not an invention of communism.

Excerpts from the interview were released by the Italian newspaper, La Stampa, and is part of new book entitled “Papa Francesco – Questa Economia Uccide” (Pope Francis – This Economy Kills).

The book, which profiles the social teaching of the Church “under the direction of Pope Francis”, was released today in Italian.

Among the issues discussed by the Holy Father was the current state of capitalism and globalization. While saying that globalization has helped many out of poverty, the Pope noted that inequalities have arisen. Read more

Pope Francis on the Dignity of Labor

Pope Francis on the Dignity of Labor
In All Things
John A. Coleman | Nov 20 2013 – 11:11pm |

I have been asked by a Catholic labor group in San Francisco to talk about Pope Francis’ position on the dignity of labor. It is one of three social issues which stand out in homilies and interviews by the pope. One such issue is the environment and its degradation. He has spoken on this topic many times, including his inaugural homily when installed as pope. There is already a rumor that he plans a social encyclical on the topic. On that theme, Francis follows the motif of Pope Benedict who tried to link environmental ecology to the theme of ‘human’ ecology which would also lift up the topic of labor. A second social theme the pope has frequently broached is the issue of forced migration. You may recall he went to meet a boatload of illegal immigrants in Lampadusa near Sicily. Once again, such forced migration could be linked to the lack of work opportunities in one’s home country.

On the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker, the pope spoke about societies that put company profits above human dignity or even human life. “What point have we come to?”, he asked. He noted that Jesus was a worker and lamented companies that put much more attention to profits than the dignity of labor. He lifted up the slave labor in garment factories in Bangladesh (there had been recent tragic deaths in a collapsed garment factory in Dakka). Expounding on the theme of the dignity of work, Francis said: “We do not get dignity from power or money or culture. We get dignity from work.” He noted: “Work is fundamental to the dignity of the person. Work, to use an image, ‘anoints’ with dignity, fills us with dignity, makes us similar to God who has worked and still works, who always acts.” Those familiar with the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises will note that this theme of God working or laboring comes from the signal contemplation for attaining the love of God where Ignatius speaks of a God who labors in all things. He ended his homily with the admonition: “I address a strong appeal that the dignity and safety of the worker always be protected.” Read more

The Pope And The President: Common Ground But A Clear Divide

March 27, 2014 7:01 PM
Despite some differences, President Obama and Pope Francis shared a laugh during their Thursday meeting at the Vatican. Obama called himself a "great admirer" of the pope.

Despite some differences, President Obama and Pope Francis shared a laugh during their Thursday meeting at the Vatican. Obama called himself a “great admirer” of the pope.

Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images

President Obama’s Vatican meeting with Pope Francis wasn’t without a dose of irony.

The U.S. president, once the world leader whose vow of “hope” and “change” excited millions, seemed eclipsed Thursday in that department by the pope.

The pope certainly is polling better than Obama among Americans. A recent placed the pope’s approval rating at 85 percent among Catholics and 65 percent among all Americans. By contrast, Obama’s approval rating was 47 percent in the same poll.

Another irony: While the pope’s approval ratings are higher than Obama’s, Americans, including many Catholics, agree more with Obama on certain social issues than with the pope.

For instance, on reproductive rights, more Americans are closer to Obama’s stance than to the pope’s. of Americans say they would not like to see the court completely overturn Roe v. Wade, according to Pew Research polling. More than a third of U.S. Catholics, 36 percent, say abortion should be legal in most cases, according to an October 2013 ; an additional 16 percent say abortion should be legal in all cases.

When it comes to same-sex marriage, Quinnipiac reports 60 percent of U.S. Catholics support it — a higher level than the general population.

To some extent, the pope benefits from his relative newness, and from the appearance of being a fresh break from his recent predecessors. His eschewing of papal lavishness and call for the Roman Catholic Church to focus more on social justice have excited millions around the world.

By contrast, the realities of being a U.S. president in the 21st century, of being ultimately responsible for drone attacks and controversial NSA surveillance practices, have left even many of Obama’s strongest supporters disappointed that the president hasn’t changed the world as much as they had hoped.

As Michael Anthony Novak, a theology professor at St. Leo, told It’s All Politics, it’s more the rule than the exception that a president and pope wouldn’t have much ideological overlap.

“Popes and presidents don’t perfectly line up,” Novak told me. “Whenever they get together, it’s a fairly rare thing that their interests would perfectly align.”

The kind of alignment between President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II at their first meeting, when they seemed to be of one mind on directly confronting communism, is rare, Novak said.

The U.S. president heads a superpower with vast economic and military might. The pope, meanwhile, heads the world’s smallest country, Vatican City, but as leader of his church he has great moral power even beyond its adherents.

“Obama sounded out the Vatican last year about the idea of intervention in Syria,” because the pope’s support and moral authority might help the president make his case for action, Novak said.

“Did the Vatican think this fit the concept of just-war theory and so forth? And in that case, Francis seemed to be strongly against the idea of the West intervening in a strong military way,” he said.

It was another area in which the president and the pope differed.

One area where the onetime Chicago community organizer and the former Buenos Aires parish priest align, however, is in the need to address economic inequality.

But while they both recognize the problem, the pope is certainly of the president in his critique of capitalism. Still, their concern for social justice represents an opportunity for the two men to work together.

Novak notes that Obama met with the pope for a longer time than the Vatican usually allots for such meetings, even with other heads of state: “I don’t know what it says yet but it says something.”

Still, he says, the Vatican knows Obama is closer to the end of his presidency than its start.

Read more

Pope Francis, The People’s Pope

 Pope Francis, The People’s Pope

Pope Francis

Pope FrancisIllustration by Bryan Drury for TIME; Photo reference: Alessandra Tarantino / AP

He took the name of a humble saint and then called for a church of healing. The first non-European pope in 1,200 years is poised to transform a place that measures change by the century

Pope Francis was chosen by the magazine for his impact on the world and news in 2013.

By Howard Chua-Eoan and Elizabeth Dias Dec. 11, 2013269 Comments

On the edge of Buenos Aires is a nothing little street called Pasaje C, a shot of dried mud leading into a slum from what passes for a main road, the garbage-strewn Mariano Acosta. There is a church, the Immaculate Virgin, toward the end of the ­pasaje—Spanish for passage—where, on one occasion, the local priest and a number of frightened residents took refuge deep in the sanctuary when rival drug gangs opened fire. Beyond the church, Pasaje C branches into the rest of the parish: more rutted mud and cracked concrete form Pasajes A to K. Brick chips from the hasty construction of squatter housing coagulate along what ought to be sidewalks. The word asesino—­murderer—is scrawled in spray-paint on the sooty wall of a burned-out house, which was torched just days before in retaliation for yet another shooting. Packs of dogs sprawl beneath wrecked cars. Children wander heedless of traffic, because nothing can gather speed on these jagged roads. But even Pasaje C can lead to Rome. Read more

Pope Francis denounces ‘trickle-down’ economics

Pope Francis denounces ‘trickle-down’ economics

Pope Francis delivers  a speech March 15, 2013, during a meeting of the world’s cardinals. (Osservatore Romano/EPA)Pope Francis delivers a speech March 15, 2013, during a meeting of the world’s cardinals. (Osservatore Romano/EPA)

Pope Francis has released a sharply worded take on capitalism and the world’s treatment of its poor, criticizing “trickle-down” economic policies in no uncertain terms.

In the first lengthy writing of his papacy — also known as an “apostolic exhortation” — Francis says such economic theories naively rely on the goodness of those in charge and create a “tyranny” of the markets.

“In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world,” the pope wrote. “This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting.” Read more

EVANGELII GAUDIUM

APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION
EVANGELII GAUDIUM
OF THE HOLY FATHER
FRANCIS
TO THE BISHOPS, CLERGY,
CONSECRATED PERSONS
AND THE LAY FAITHFUL
ON THE PROCLAMATION OF THE GOSPEL
IN TODAY’S WORLD

INDEX

I. A JOY EVER NEW, A JOY WHICH IS SHARED [2-8]
II. THE DELIGHTFUL AND COMFORTING JOY OF EVANGELIZING [9-13]

Eternal newness [11-13]

III. THE NEW EVANGELIZATION FOR THE TRANSMISSION OF THE FAITH [14-18]

The scope and limits of this Exhortation [16-18]

CHAPTER ONE
THE CHURCH’S MISSIONARY TRANSFORMATION [19]

I. A CHURCH WHICH GOES FORTH [20-24]

Taking the first step, being involved and supportive, bearing fruit and rejoicing [24]

II. PASTORAL ACTIVITY AND CONVERSION [25-33]

An ecclesial renewal which cannot be deferred [27-33]

III. FROM THE HEART OF THE GOSPEL [34-39]

IV. A MISSION EMBODIED WITHIN HUMAN LIMITS [40-45]

V. A MOTHER WITH AN OPEN HEART [46-49]

CHAPTER TWO
AMID THE CRISIS OF COMMUNAL COMMITMENT [50-51]

I. SOME CHALLENGES OF TODAY’S WORLD [52-75]

No to an economy of exclusion [53-54]
No to the new idolatry of money
[55-56]
No to a financial system which rules rather than serves
[57-58]
No to the inequality which spawns violence
[59-60]
Some cultural challenges
[61-67]
Challenges to inculturating the faith
[68-70]
Challenges from urban cultures
[71-75]

II. TEMPTATIONS FACED BY PASTORAL WORKERS [76-109]

Yes to the challenge of a missionary spirituality [78-80]
No to selfishness and spiritual sloth
[81-83]
No to a sterile pessimism
[84-86]
Yes to the new relationships brought by Christ
[87-92]
No to spiritual worldliness
[93-97]
No to warring among ourselves
[98-101]
Other ecclesial challenges
[102-109]

CHAPTER THREE
THE PROCLAMATION OF THE GOSPEL [110]

I. THE ENTIRE PEOPLE OF GOD PROCLAIMS THE GOSPEL [111-134]

A people for everyone [112-114]
A people of many faces
[115-118]
We are all missionary disciples
[119-121]
The evangelizing power of popular piety
[122-126]
Person to person
[127-129]
Charisms at the service of a communion which evangelizes
[130-131]
Culture, thought and education
[132-134]

II. THE HOMILY [135-144]

The liturgical context [137-138]
A mother’s conversation
[139-141]
Words which set hearts on fire
[142-144]

III. PREPARING TO PREACH [145-159]

Reverence for truth [146-148]
Personalizing the word
[149-151]
Spiritual reading
[152-153]
An ear to the people
[154-155]
Homiletic resources
[156-159]

IV. EVANGELIZATION AND THE DEEPER UNDERSTANDING OF THE KERYGMA [160- 175]

Kerygmatic and mystagogical catechesis [163-168]
Personal accompaniment in processes of growth
[169-173]
Centred on the word of God
[174-175]

CHAPTER FOUR
THE SOCIAL DIMENSION OF EVANGELIZATION [176]

I. COMMUNAL AND SOCIETAL REPERCUSSIONS OF THE KERYGMA [177-185]

Confession of faith and commitment to society [178-179]
The kingdom and its challenge
[180-181]
The Church’s teaching on social questions
[182-185]

II. THE INCLUSION OF THE POOR IN SOCIETY [186-216]

In union with God, we hear a plea [187-192]
Fidelity to the Gospel, lest we run in vain
[193-196]
The special place of the poor in God’s people
[197-201]
The economy and the distribution of income
[202-208]
Concern for the vulnerable
[209-216]

III. THE COMMON GOOD AND PEACE IN SOCIETY [217-237]

Time is greater than space [222-225]
Unity prevails over conflict
[226-230]
Realities are more important than ideas
[231-233]
The whole is greater than the part
[234-237]

IV. SOCIAL DIALOGUE AS A CONTRIBUTION TO PEACE [238-258]

Dialogue between faith, reason and science [242-243]
Ecumenical dialogue
[244-246]
Relations with Judaism
[247-249]
Interreligious dialogue
[250-254]
Social dialogue in a context of religious freedom
[255-258]

CHAPTER FIVE
SPIRIT-FILLED EVANGELIZERS [259-261]

I. REASONS FOR A RENEWED MISSIONARY IMPULSE [262-283]

Personal encounter with the saving love of Jesus [264-267]
The spiritual savour of being a people
[268-274]
The mysterious working of the risen Christ and his Spirit
[275-280]
The missionary power of intercessory prayer
[281-283]

II. MARY, MOTHER OF EVANGELIZATION [284-288]

Jesus’ gift to his people [285-286]
Star of the new evangelization
[287-288]

The Pope’s bold new vision

The Pope’s bold new vision
November 26th, 2013
12:11 PM ET

The Pope’s bold new vision

Opinion by the Rev. James Martin, Special to CNN 

(CNN)  Pope Francis on Tuesday issued a bold new document in Vatican parlance an “apostolic exhortation” called Evangelii Gaudium or “The Joy of the Gospel.”

In this document, he sets out an exciting new vision of how to be a church. In all my years as a Catholic, I cannot remember a papal document that was so thought-provoking, surprising and invigorating. Frankly, reading it thrilled me.

To me, it seems that with each new homily, address, interview, general audience message and letter, Francis is challenging himself and us with three questions, each of which flows naturally from the other:

First, why not look at things from a new perspective? Second, why not be open to doing things in a new way? And third, why not have a new vision for the church?

And what is Francis’ vision for the church?

Read more

Ending Million-Dollar Pay Packages, Papal-Style

Ending Million-Dollar Pay Packages, Papal-Style

Let the Pope’s suspension of a bishop for spending millions on lavish renovations be a lesson to America’s CEOs.

BY Leo Gerard, United Steelworkers President

Corporate boards should behave more like Pope Francis, banishing imperial CEOs and rejecting royal pay package demands. If they did, they wouldn’t have to fear embarrassment when those pay ratio numbers get released.

Pope Francis has the antidote for what ails the United States. He gave the Catholic Church’s 1.2 billion followers a dose last week when he suspended the Bishop of Bling.

The German bishop, Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, bought himself a $20,000 bathtub while spending $42 million renovating his residence. It’s an echo of John Thain, the Merrill Lynch chief executive who bought a $35,000 toilet while spending $1.2 million on office renovations just months before confessing to $56 billion in losses. Read more

Greed destroys, money is God’s gift to use to help others, pope says

Greed destroys, money is God’s gift to use to help others, pope says


By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service

POPE-MONEY Oct-21-2013 (350 words) xxxi

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Money by itself isn’t a problem, but greed and an attachment to money cause evil and destroy families and relationships, Pope Francis said.

“Money is needed to bring about many good things,” he said in his morning Mass homily Oct. 21, “but when your heart is attached (to money), it destroys you.”

“How many destroyed families have we seen because of money problems, sibling against sibling, father against child,” he said during the Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, according to Vatican Radio. Read more

De-coding Francis: Vatican media adviser offers “10 things to know”

De-coding Francis: Vatican media adviser offers “10 things to know”

Posted on October 22, 2013 by Carol Glatz

VATICAN CITY — If people are still unsure about what to make of Pope Francis, the Vatican’s media adviser offered his take on decoding the pontiff.

GREG BURKE, MEDIA ADVISER TO VATICAN, PARTICIPATES IN PRESS CONFERENCE ABOUT POPE'S PRESENCE ON TWITTER

Greg Burke, media adviser to the Vatican, participating in a Vatican press conference Dec. 3, 2012. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope greets people in wheelchairs after celebrating Mass in St. Peter's Square at Vatican

“Pope Francis is not a politically-correct pope,” rather, he is “a loyal son of the church” who presents the hard truths with a heavy dose of mercy, said Greg Burke, senior communications adviser to the Vatican’s Secretariat of State.

The former U.S. journalist, who’s been based in Rome the past 25 years, gave a behind-the-scenes talk last week to hundreds of benefactors celebrating the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums.

U.S. Msgr. Peter Wells — another top official at the Secretariat of State — also spoke at the same Oct. 18 event in the apostolic palace, where he gave his take on the reform of the curia and how they counteract secular media manipulating the pope’s message. Read more