Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sourcing Francis

I am an academic. When I write scholarship, I use footnotes. When I write op-eds, I use links. Links make me feel more confident as a writer as they leave my sources transparent. Sites like CNN use the links for fact-check, but then the editors often remove some or all of them. This is fine - the statements I am saying are accurate (to my knowledge) and the links are not exhaustive. In fact, they are often self-referential in an entirely non-reliable way: I link to my own writing as examples, so if I was wrong once, I just replicate my wrongness (I'm not wrong!).

So here are all the Francis links from my latest CNN piece.

The New Franciscan Revolution 

It's time to stop being surprised by Pope Francis. 

  • His tweets echo around the world.  
  • He eschews the fancy trappings of office favored by his predecessor, from the pope-mobile to the red shoes
  • He washed the feet of prisoners, including a Muslim woman, on Holy Thursday. 
  • He telephones ordinary people who write to him.
  • In Rome, he called for “revolutionaries” to leave the comforts of their home and bring the word into the streets. 
  • In Rio, he told the gathered youth to “make a mess” in the dioceses as they help the church shake off clericalism. 
  • He has sought to create a “culture of encounter” in which atheists and Catholics might come together. “Do good,” he said memorably, “we will meet each other there.”  
  • When he announced that he would canonize Pope John XXIII, the great reformer, on the same day as John-Paul II, he emphasized continuity among all Catholics, even those of different factions. 
  • When asked about gay priests, he replied, “Who am I to judge?” 
  • Most recently, he gave a long interviewin which he articulated a new vision of the church that does seem revolutionary.
  • As repeatedly stated by commentators and church officials, he has not changed anything.  
  • Traditionalist response to Francis has concentrated on his personal charisma while emphasizing the orthodoxy of his doctrinal positions (I could have linked Donohue here).
  • In a recent interview with the New Catholic Reporter, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, talked about the new pope. He said that in the wake of Francis, he found himself, “examining my own conscience ... on style, on simplicity, on lots of things.” The Cardinal wondered whether his living arrangements, in the historical residence of the archbishops of New York, were appropriate. 
  • Pope Francis, on the other hand, might have a plan for an empty Archbishop’s residence if Cardinal Dolan wanted to downsize. After all, he did recently suggest that empty church property should be used to house refugees.

 Happy reading!