Pope Francis arrives, reassures US: ‘I’m a Catholic, not a communist!’ (ANALYSIS)

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U.S. President Barack Obama welcomes Pope Francis to the United States as the Pontiff shakes hands with dignitaries upon his arrival at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington on September 22, 2015.  REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
*Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-POPE-ARRIVAL, originally transmitted on September 22, 2015.

U.S. President Barack Obama welcomes Pope Francis to the United States as the Pontiff shakes hands with dignitaries upon his arrival at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington on September 22, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-POPE-ARRIVAL, originally transmitted on September 22, 2015.

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(RNS) Francis is a force to be reckoned with. It’s just that no one is sure exactly how, or whether, the reckoning will happen, or what effect it could have. But everyone is scrambling to try to keep ahead of an unpredictable pontiff.

  • Be Brave

    Sorry to be the bearer of reality here, but why does anyone but Catholics have to care what the leader of Catholics has to day?

    He’s just another religious politician with an agenda to further his groups desires.

    BB

  • Deacon John M Bresnahan

    Unfortunately the word “politics” and its derivatives has become a dirty word. But in a democracy politics is one of the vehicles open to someone or some group who cares about and wants to help the poor, the sick, the aged. the youngest etc. What does the Church or its leaders gain by being so pro-life???– ridicule, insult, and (idiotic) cries of theocracy. Never mind the fact everyone or group in a democracy has the right to attempt to convince a majority to its point of view without its right to do so constantly attacked.

  • Greg1

    As a Catholic, I am very happy to see the pope come to our Republic, and hopefully inject some sanity into our culture of indifference. People have cast away the time tested road maps to both a healthy society, as well as a happy life in eternity. So it is a very sad time. And in that sense, I do believe Francis will come down in definitive ways on all fronts, and hopefully lead the World Meeting of the Family to its proper biblical conclusion. And Be Brave, I hear what you are saying, but Francis is the 266th pope after the Apostle Peter (Matthew 16:18), and before our Lord, Francis is the Rock who is currently leading all of Christianity. I know that sounds a little arrogant, but that is what Jesus did, and it has been that way since the beginning. So try to be open to seeing how this thing unfolds. He needs to bring people back to God, reorienting minds and hearts, but at the same time he must communicate Truth. It is a delicate balance.

  • Sister Geraldine Marie, OP, RN, PHN

    First a word to David Gibson, the writer of the article: The correct word in front of an “h” like historic, is “an” not “a.”

    I’m glad the Pope has turned the world upside down. I hope and pray it will not return to (old) business as usual when the next pope is elected. The truth is hard to speak, harder still to hear and makes more enemies than friends–just ask Yeshua and the prophets!

  • Doc Anthony

    The news media is very comfortable using the word “unpredictable” to describe Pope Francis, and that is a genuine cause for concern.

    Yes, Francis “can recite the Creed”, and that is good, but can he recite the Official Catechism? Hmm.

    Anyway, it’s just a Wait-And-See thing for now. We’ll have to see what he’ll say to Congress; we’ll have to see what he says at Mass; we’ll have to see what he says at the World Meeting of the Family.

    And we’ll have to see what he DOESN’T say, as well. That will be important.

  • This is for Sister Geraldine: speaking as an editor, “a historic” is correct newspaper style.

  • Canisius

    Sister, I really hope this pontificate ends quickly and the new Pope will drive a stake through the heart of the “spirit of Vactican 2”

  • Bernardo

    “At the same time, Francis has broadened the church’s focus from issues of abortion and sexuality to highlight what he sees as the moral imperative to welcome immigrants, redress income inequality around the world and battle global warming as part of humanity’s duty to care for creation.”

    But at the same time, 50% of Catholics still cannot join the priesthood because they are women. Ditto if you are married (unless you are an Episcopalian married priest jumping ship). And welcome immigrants? Has he offered to pick up the expenses? Concerned that many of these immigrants are terrorists? And income inequality? Well Francis has yet to take the vow of poverty!!

  • Jack

    The Pope has the economic views and understanding of a 6-year-old, but he does have a good heart and seems to be a force for good in the world.

    What I don’t understand is why Catholics who are economic conservatives have done such a poor job in educating their clergy about Economics 101.

  • Jack

    You know you’re pretty far left economically when you’re forced to say “I’m not a communist.”

    No, the Pope is no communist — he’s more of a social democrat or a democratic socialist. He’s somewhat sympathetic economically but not politically. He’s pro-democracy whereas a communist has contempt for majority rule and individual rights.

  • Dr. Cajetan Coelho

    Catholics are called to serve, shelter the homeless and protect the weak.

  • Jack

    But everyone, Catholics included, are called to “serve, shelter the homeless, and protect the weak” in a way that works. If we care about the homeless and the weak, we will favor ideas and policies that succeed, not ideas and policies that fail.

    It’s not about us — it’s about them. It’s not about what feels good to us; it’s what will do good for them. Otherwise it’s just another exercise in narcissism.

    The bottom-line question is which policies work and which ones fail.