As Catholic bishops meet, the ‘Francis Effect’ changes everything

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#11 - Pope Francis by Zoltán Marton, Transylvania, Romania (Lead Pencil) - "On the picture can be see Pope Francis. The drawing was made with lead pencil."

#11 - Pope Francis by Zoltán Marton, Transylvania, Romania (Lead Pencil) - "On the picture can be see Pope Francis. The drawing was made with lead pencil."

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(RNS) On issues from the U.S. bishops' campaign against the Obama administration’s contraception mandate to high-profile battles against gay marriage, Pope Francis’ new marching orders have scrambled what had been a fairly predictable routine.

  • Duane Lamers

    There’s no reason why the bishops cannot continue fighting the culture war and still place greater emphasis on pastoral care. How about getting out among the people and preaching, occasionally with fire and brimstone, the Gospel and becoming more personable. I note that Francis has not backtracked on any fundamental moral and doctrinal issues, he’s only devoting more energy to other aspects of religious life.

  • LiberTardis

    Technically you are right. But Frances is a smart dude. He knows that if the Catholic Church continues to openly fight “culture wars” they will keep losing their people (Millennials disagree with the catholic church on pretty much every major social issue). He may not admit it but the church has to shut up about women’s rights and gay marriage or lose more followers and money.

    Convert or die, slavery, child labor/abuse, female equality and racism… all things that were backed by a majority of monotheistic religions at one point in time…but the views of those in charge changed, either forcefully or just the people in charge dying off and the younger generations taking over.
    Not divine intervention or some magical discovery in a bible by a theologian…but society dragging religion kicking and screaming through this progressive world.

  • Doc Anthony

    Francis HAS backtracked on gay marriage, given it a green light, and indeed has influenced American Catholics in positions of power to do the very same thing. See this paragraph from the RNS quote of the day:

    “…Illinois state Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia, a Catholic who voted to legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois, invoking Pope Francis’ “who am I to judge?” comments about homosexuality. She was quoted by the Chicago Tribune.”

    There is no doubt now. Pope Francis has waved the white flag on gay marriage, and both supporters and critics already know it. LiberTardis has phrased it well: Pope Francis has indirectly, but unmistakably, told the Catholic Church to “shut up” about gay marriage. He has surrendered. This is a huge loss, very possibly irreparable loss, for both Catholics and Protestants.

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  • Dave

    Smart Dude…? What good is a religion that just parrots back what people want to hear? What happened to God’s word being the standard to elevate the human condition?

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