Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Turning a New Page

“In our ecclesiastical region there are priests who don’t baptize the children of single mothers because they weren’t conceived in the sanctity of marriage...These are today’s hypocrites...who separate the people of God from salvation. And this poor girl who, rather than returning the child to sender, had the courage to carry it into the world, must wander from parish to parish so that it’s baptized!”

~ Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio - now Pope Francis - speaking to his priests

He rode the bus to work and cooked his own meals, visited slums and AIDS patients, sat in the back row at bishops meetings, placed reaching out to others above doctrinal squabbles. He's not afraid to use the word "hypocrite" when he thinks it's appropriate. And now he's the pope. I think this might be real progress.

Of course, the new pontiff has his detractors. Pope Francis is Catholic clergy, after all. He's still too mysterious to make any sweeping statements. But I think the next few years will be very interesting ones, not just in my church but in the world.