Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Well, this should be interesting. Guess he's more than just a pretty face.

"The bishops realize that they themselves are going to have to change their tone if they are to become more inclusive and complement the new tone coming from Pope Francis and the Vatican," Schmalz said. "There is definitely something going on here: The American hierarchy is going to have to change its style or be left behind."
The bishops had early in the meeting prayed for the thousands of victims of Friday's typhoon in the Philippines and also discussed the response to the disaster by Catholic Relief Services, the bishops' international relief agency.
But after a presentation on overall priorities of the U.S. bishops, Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza, a former president of the conference, rose to say it was "missing this essential element" of a focus on the poor.
"It would help our conference be on record as trying to achieve what Pope Francis has put before us,"
said Fiorenza, who retired as archbishop of Galveston-Houston, Texas.
Bishops also discussed how they would collect the information the Vatican is seeking ahead of a major meeting, or synod, on the family in Rome next year.
Last month, Vatican officials sent a survey to the national bishops conferences that took the unusual step of seeking broad input on how parishes deal with sensitive issues such as birth control, divorce and gay marriage. Bishops in England have put the questionnaire on the web for parishioners to respond. Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput said he planned to post the survey online within days.


  1. I'm a cradle Catholic who has long since lapsed into atheism, but I have to admit some pleasure in this pope's public pronouncements. Last year, I sparred a lot with Catholics (many from my own family) about Minnesota's proposed (and defeated) anti-gay marriage amendment. Now it sort of looks like those discussions represent just a prelude to what is to come...

    I've been hearing from a few conservative Catholics who say, "there's nothing to worry about; the MSM is ginning up and misrepresenting what the Pope is saying in order to sensationalize stories about the Church, sell their news products, and promote the secular agenda." I wonder how they'll react to this.

  2. Thanks for posting, KoN. I'm fascinated as much by the local US reaction, especially as described in the interview in the Times, as I am by the actual pronouncements of the Pope. Today's report that he issued a strong and direct condemnation of corruption in the Church is pretty jaw dropping--on the one hand one might say "Pope condemns corruption" should be filed under the heading of "water is wet" but on the other this is really unusual in that it is so clearly tied directly to immiediate political events and realities. It used to be that the Popes commented most forcefully through events a few hundred years behind the times and left direct talk about the evils of current prelates to outsiders.

    My only dog in this hunt is the role the idea of the conservative Pope has played in American politics and the swing of CAtholic voters behind Republican policies. Which is an odd fact considering that I think most Catholics vote Democratic, still, despite the conservative bent on particular issues. But then you remember that a conservative Democrat, like the Upper Michigan guy who single handedly held up the ACA, can do a lot of damage.