Popes have been interested in heresy and heretics for centuries, and language linking “papacy” and “heresy” continues to prosper down to our own day. The language root of “heresy” connects with “to choose,” and the heretic is someone who, in the eyes of someone else, makes bad choices. Those of us who are not of the papal obedience, particularly of the Lutheran tribe, will commemorate, this very Wednesday, the condemnation of Martin Luther, called a “heretic” on June 15, 1520. According to best estimates, .0001520% of the world’s Lutherans and even fewer Protestants and other heirs of the Reformation will be aware of this, or will observe the day. Never mind: the date provides us with an excuse to update dealings with the papacy and heretics.
(RNS) The encounter may spark another round of heated speculation about what it signals about Francis’ intentions – a change in church policy or doctrine? Or nothing more than an act of kindness toward an aging rebel who continues to bless divorced and gay couples and others on the church’s margins?
(RNS) Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George thrived under Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Under the more progressive Francis, though, “I don’t yet really have an understanding of ‘What are we doing here?’ ”
(RNS) In a world of heart-wrenching suffering, leaders from President Obama to Russia’s Vladimir Putin often seem like helpless actors controlled by events rather than directing them. Pope Francis also risks that fate.