Pope Francis is back at the Vatican after a whirlwind World Youth Day celebration in Brazil. Not a single doctrine of the Catholic church was altered during this event. Frankly, there seems little likelihood there will be change to any Catholic doctrine in the foreseeable future. Pope Francis even made clear that there will be no female priests during his papacy.
What is the excitement all about? Are the words of the oft-sung hymn “Sing a New Church” about to become prophetic? We are told that the pope has changed the tone of the discourse. He has. But how significant is that change? Let’s look first at the ways in which Pope Francis has indeed changed the tone.
We know many of the indicators reflect more personality than substantive change. These signs include carrying his own bags (or, in the case of the trip to Brazil, his briefcase), kissing babies and choosing not to live in the Vatican apartments. There is indeed some significance to these gestures in that it is clear the pope expects others in the hierarchy to adopt much of his way of responding to others. We are even seeing signs of simpler dress and communication among the hierarchy…
Besides, Pope Francis is just getting started. He’s not done yet. Read more