For a moment last week, humility supplanted sequester as the go-to word. Before that moment passes completely, we do well to reflect on the novelty, audacity and power of humility-why it attracts us. And the absurdity of striking a humble pose for tactical reasons.
In his first appearance on the Vatican balcony, the new Pope Francis wore the simple white cassock, not the red finery, and he earnestly sought the prayers of the faithful. Later that day he returned to his pre-papal lodgings to fetch his own luggage and pay his own bill, personal errands consistent with his decades of life and service in Argentina, where he took public transportation, spoke with self-deprecating good humor, walked the barrios as a friend of the poorest of the poor, and washed the feet of AIDS patients. The name Francis trails long roots of humility and simplicity.
As a semi-jaded trial lawyer, I study these media descriptions. As a man who lives by shaping and deconstructing persuasive narratives, I see a man at just the right time step into one of the most influential and consequential positions on earth, and turn standard leadership upside down. more >>
Last week on the blog I discussed the mainstream media's fascination – and apparent surprise (since he appears to be... wait for it... someone who holds Catholic beliefs) – that Pope Francis was elected as what Catholics consider the 266th pontiff. And while this was an event with worldwide interest and implications, we at LifeWay Research pondered whether or not the general public was as interested in the story as the media made it seem. So we did what research companies do when we have an extra spot on another survey: we asked Americans if they had been following the election of the Pope with interest.
The results were somewhat surprising. And, since the election is over, I am sharing it here (exclusively) with you, my blog readers.
Less than half of Americans followed the election with interest, and more did not follow it than did. Even more surprising was that only 13 percent of Americans strongly agreed that they were following the election with interest. Given that more than 50 million Americans identify as Catholics, that number seems somewhat low. You'd think even nominal Catholics would have great interest. more >>
The newly installed Bishop of Rome has called upon Christians and non-Christians alike to be "protectors" of the environment, the poor, and their families. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was formally installed as Pope Francis Tuesday morning. He is the 266th pope and the first from Latin America.
According to the Catholic liturgical calendar, the date for which Pope Francis was formally installed was the Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. As such, Francis focused on Joseph's role as protector for Jesus and Mary.
"How does Joseph exercise his role as protector? Discreetly, humbly and silently, but with an unfailing presence and utter fidelity, even when he finds it hard to understand," said Pope Francis in his homily. more >>
Thousands of people gathered in St. Peter's Square Tuesday morning to witness the inauguration of Pope Francis as the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church, who again used his platform to advocate for the poor.
Addressing the crowd, the newly installed pope spoke of his office and said that "authentic power is service…"
"He (pope) must be inspired by the lowly, concrete and faithful service which marked St. Joseph and, like him, he must open his arms to protect all of God's people and embrace with tender affection the whole of humanity, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important, those whom Matthew lists in the final judgment on love: the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and those in prison. Only those who serve with love are able to protect." more >>
Pope Francis, formerly Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, was formally installed as the head of the Roman Catholic Church on Tuesday in front of thousands of people, including heads of states. But even before his inauguration, this new pope has made all indication that the poor that he served for most of his life will continue to be a top priority in his papacy.
"I feel that his election is a reaffirmation in a very strong way of the church's continual commitment for those who are most poor and vulnerable," said Monsignor Kevin Sullivan of the Archdiocese of New York in an interview with The Christian Post on Monday.
"I think his election, as someone who has spent his entire ministry in South America with people who have struggled will be an ongoing reminder and sign to all of us in the church that one of the places where we find Christ most visible is in the poorest of our sisters and brothers," Sullivan added. more >>
For the first time in history, the leader of the Orthodox Church will be attending the installation of a pope of the Roman Catholic Church.
The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople will be present for the installation mass for Pope Francis on Tuesday. This is the first time an Ecumenical Patriarch has been present for this Catholic mass since the Great Schism of 1054, when the Eastern and Western Church cut ties with one another.
In an interview with a television network in Istanbul, Turkey, Bartholomew explained that the decision to attend was a gesture to showcase improving relations between the two Ancient Churches. more >>