I'm starting to really like Pope Francis. I know the story of the day was about his new/old car:
Pope Francis now has his own mini-popemobile after getting a good deal on a used car that he plans to drive himself.
A Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Ciro Benedettini, says Francis accepted the 1984 Renault 4, donated for free by a priest in northern Italy who used it to visit poor parishioners. The four-door car, in papal white, has a manual shift and a new engine. Benedettini told the Associated Press on Wednesday: "The pope intends to drive it."
The donor, the 79-year-old Rev. Renzo Zocca, says he took Francis for a short drive in the car at the Vatican on Saturday and that Francis told him he knows how to drive it.
Zocca said he thinks Francis will use it for short commutes on Vatican grounds.
But for me there's a couple of things to discuss. First, he's allowing liberation theology back into the church--which was caught by Charles Pierce:
And, seriously, this is good news.
Francis, who has called for "a poor church for the poor," will meet in the next few days with the Rev. Gustavo Gutierrez, a Peruvian theologian and scholar who is considered the founder of liberation theology. The meeting was announced on Sunday (Sept. 8) by Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican's doctrinal watchdog, during the launch of a book he co-authored with Gutierrez. It's a remarkable about-face for a movement that swelled in popularity but was later stamped out by the conservative pontificates of John Paul II and his longtime doctrinal czar, Benedict XVI.
One of the great disservices that JP The Deuce did to HMC was to squash the liberation theologians, some of whom were actually martyred, not that it mattered to the bureaucrats in the Holy Office. If this pope is willing to let them back into the general theological life of the church, that's nothing but a good thing, if only because it will piss off all the right people.
Conservatives, even in religious matters, seem to always stamp out progress in all forms and Pope John Paul was like all the rest of conservative power brokers.
Liberation theology proposes to fight poverty by addressing its alleged source: sin. In so doing, it explores the relationship between Christian theology — especially Roman Catholic theology — and political activism, especially in relation to social justice, poverty, and human rights.
The principal methodological innovation is seeing theology from the perspective of the poor and the oppressed. For example Jon Sobrino, S.J., argues that the poor are a privileged channel of God's grace...read on
And secondly, his Number 2, Archbishop Pietro Parolin, said clerical celibacy is open for discussion:
The Vatican’s new secretary of state has said that priestly celibacy is not church dogma and therefore open to discussion, marking a significant change in approach towards one of the thorniest issues facing the Roman Catholic Church."Celibacy is not an institution but look, it is also true that you can discuss (it) because as you say this is not a dogma, a dogma of the church," Archbishop Pietro Parolin said in response to a question during an interview with Venezuelan newspaper El Universal.
He added that while it was not dogma, clerical celibacy was a deeply entrenched Catholic tradition. "The efforts that the church made to keep ecclesiastical celibacy, to impose ecclesiastical celibacy, have to be taken into consideration," Parolin said. "One cannot say simply that this belongs in the past."
This is really huge. I know the church will resist this because of the money involved that could end up in an ex-wife's possession from the church, but Pope Francis seems to be putting a lot of things on the table. The Catholic Church needs it badly.