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Where is Pope Francis directing the Church to?
Paul Michael ZULEHNER
; University of Vienna, Institute of Pastoral Theology Faculty of Catholic Theology, Vienna, Austria
The current Pope Francis comes from a continent, where 41% Catholics live. Nevertheless he is a surprise. He expresses his devotion to the poor also with his choice of name. The descriptions by the author have their structure orientated towards the so-called catacombs pact that was decided in the year 1965 by several bishops, whom Dom Helder Câmara was assembling at the end of the Council in the Domitilla Catacombs. Pope Francis confirms, for instance, with his personal lifestyle what is written in the first part of the catacombs pact: »… We will seek to live according to the ordinary manner of our people, regarding habitation, food, means of transport and all which springs from this.« The misery of those many people that are drowning in the Mediterranean Sea on their way to Europe is touching his heart (refugees). What moves the Pope, therefore, is his concern for the poor. As a peacemaker Pope Francis mediates together with his employees in the Vatican the convention between USA and Cuba. Also between Israel and Palestine the Pope tries to help with regard to the stagnant peace process. The »Jesuitical Francis« cares especially about the preservation of the creation. He is the first Pope who has published for this purpose the encyclical »Laudato si«. He strongly stands up for inner ecclesial reforms. To these inner ecclesial mammoth tasks belongs the reform of the Vatican Curia. Especially the development of a Synodal culture within the Catholic World Church is important to the Pope. His Apostolic Exhortation »Amoris laetitia« (2016) is based, to a great extent, on results of the consultations with the Synod of Bishops. However, the well guided Synodal process is not completed (pastoral turn within the pastoral work with divorced and remarried people). If one just compares – as the author states – the Eastern Ecclesial practice with the Catholic practice (with regard to the pastoral work with divorced and remarried people) according to Francis, then the Eastern Ecclesial one proves itself to be more paternalistic and the Catholic one now to be more personal. Therefore, the development of the pastoral for divorcees shows clearly a shift in the pastoral culture of the Catholic Church. It is a shift from a moralising towards a therapeutic pastoral. Related to this shift is the ideal of the shepherd. The ideal is has to do with the law, shepherds with the people.The Pope has enemies not only within the Mafia whose actions he is ethically condemning with severe words. He also has a few enemies within the Catholic Church itself, worldwide and also within his Vatican surrounding, the Curia.
Pope Francis; catacombs pact; refugees; poverty; reforms; pastoral of divorcees; healing wounds.
Hrčak ID: 181539
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