The Promise and Peril of Pope Francis –

An interesting reflection by Ross Douthat of the NY Times on religion in the West, how the centre is “hollowing out,” with the more orthodox, traditional or conservative tendencies becoming relatively stronger. Some interesting longer-term implications for many religions:

But the test of his [Pope Francis’] approach will ultimately be a practical one. Will the church grow or stagnate under his leadership? Will his style just win casual admirers, or will it gain converts, inspire vocations, create saints? Will it actually change the world, or just give the worldly another excuse to close their ears to the church’s moral message?

The Promise and Peril of Pope Francis –

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

2 Responses to The Promise and Peril of Pope Francis –

  1. Interesting but I think inaccurate. What Pope is asking of us is something a bit harder than just fighting the usual devils in the political arena. Nor is he attempting to make the church “relevant” in the way it tried in the 1960’s after Vatican II. The New Evangelization is an important culture shift. It asks us (the laity) to examine our faith more closely and then to share it. This is not something we “cradle Catholics” are used to (that’s why we have priests and monks and nuns, right?) And, yes, this is something that has the potential to seriously “harsh our buzz” particularly for the Catholic by culture crowd.

    That move from passivity to activity, from isolation in our parishes to involvement in the world around us, Pope Francis is speaking to us to get off our collective behinds and start living our faith. It’s a very powerful message and a destabilizing one. And yet, whether one is a traditional or a progressive Catholic, what he has to say really resonates.

    If you’re interested Father Stephen Wang (UK) has a nice talk here about the Pope’s message and what it means for individual Catholics:

    • Andrew says:

      Thanks, Victoria, for putting this in context. Helps my learning and understanding, as well as those who follow my blog.

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