By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Assessing Pope Francis: The New John XXIII

Italian vaticanisti Andrea Tornielli writes a golden piece at this link.

Here is an excerpt:

Then there was the time John XXIII spent Christmas 1958 at the Regina Coeli prison, speaking off-the-cuff about a relative of his who had been arrested for poaching. His words were censored at the time, by Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano. More than half a century later, some still grumbled about Francis’ decision to celebrate his first Holy Thursday with young offenders at the Casal del Marmo detention centre in Rome, unhappy with the direct way in which he expressed himself, without paying too much attention to protocol.

Their focus on mercy is another point which links the two popes together. John XXIII spoke often of mercy as a medicine, while Francis has stressed right from day one that “Jesus’ message is mercy. For me, I say this humbly, it is the strongest message of the Lord.”

Both men place an emphasis on the Church’s closeness to the people, instead of it being conceived as the world’s “courtroom”. Both appear to be deeply rooted in a simple and popular faith. Roncalli’s faith is ingrained in northern Italian Catholicism, while Bergoglio’s is tooted in Latin American Catholicism. Their style is miles away from the detached intellectualism of some.

See source link above.

I also like this observation from the former secretary of John XXIII:

When John XXIII was elected Pope, Fr. Primo Mazzolari said: “We have a Pope made of flesh.” “This is no trivial thing, because God became flesh,” Capovilla said. “Pope Francis is an eloquent manifestation of this.”

See my earlier blog link concerning why we should also become human.

We are living at a very special time.