by Father Anthony, STL
++++ Do a search on ‘Anthony’ for ALL his other posts and comments (—>>).
There are quite a few, including Feb. 16, 2013 on ‘Initial Thoughts on Coming Conclave‘
and the April 4, 2013 ‘Reflections on the Conclave‘.
I was in Rome at the end of May. I went with two friends. The weather was not as good as it usually is in May. But we still had a good time.
We saw the Pope, and I had the chance to talk to different people, including one or two who know him well.
There is a sense of a breath of fresh air. You are right that so far it has been talk, but people are convinced that there will be action.
He is a Jesuit, and having been taught by Jesuits, I recognise the style! He will take his time deciding what needs to be done.
His decision to create this small group of Cardinals is a clear pointer to his intention to make changes.
He has already told people that in the pre-conclave meetings the Cardinals were very clear that reforms are needed.
Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor, former Archbishop of Westminster knows him very well, and is delighted with the appointment.
He and others of like mind wanted Bergoglio, and are convinced that he will start a process to create a more collegial government of the Church.
We must not have unreasonable expectations of one man, but this was clearly the most “anti-establishment” conclave in the last century.
Major changes in an institution as old as the Church inevitably take time, but I feel confident that the process will begin.
[[ The following is in response to a question I had asked as to the Father's reaction to the pope's recent pronouncements. ]]
Atheists: Pope Francis said nothing new. The Church has taught for centuries that every individual must follow the guidance of his own conscience. In our terms there is no question that sincere people who live good lives can be “saved”.
Gay issues: Any priest involved in gay sexual activity is going against the teaching of the Church and against his promised celibacy. As you will know this issue was raised before Benedict’s resignation. Francis merely alluded to it.