Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Pope Francis is Time's Person of the Year

In an era where there are many merited complaints about how journalism just doesn't "get religion," and to show favor or compliment to a particular absolutist religion would cause controversy and threaten profit, it's a bit curious and refreshing to see the humility, grace, doctrinal firmness and virtual non-denominationalism of Pope Francis portrayed by Time Magazine, who has made him their Person of the Year. I'm not Catholic, but there are a few things we can learn about ministry and culture from the works and words of Pope Francis.

And so Francis signals great change while giving the same answers to the uncomfortable questions. On the question of female priests: “We need to work harder to develop a profound theology of the woman.” Which means: no. No to abortion, because an individual life begins at conception. No to gay marriage, because the male-female bond is established by God. “The teaching of the church … is clear,” he has said, “and I am a son of the church, but”—and here he adds his prayer for himself—“it is not necessary to talk about those issues all the time.”
If that prayer should be answered, if somehow by his own vivid example Francis could bring the church into a new relationship with its critics and dissidents—agreeing to disagree about issues that divide them while cooperating in the urgent mission of spreading mercy—he might unleash untold good. “Argue less, accomplish more” could be a healing motto for our times. We have a glut of problems to tackle.
Read the whole article here.