I am sharing a speech by Deacon David Backes that he gave to his parish on the early pontificate of Pope Francis. It is a fantastic summary and I encourage you to read it here. Set forth below is a sample:
Imagine that you’re a book publisher, and last January some novelist comes to you with an idea for a book that begins with the first resignation by a pope in 600 years, who is followed by the first Jesuit pope who becomes the first to take the name of Francis, after the iconic saint. As archbishop, this Jesuit rode the bus and walked the most dangerous streets of Buenos Aires; now, as pope, he rejects the papal palace and lives in a guest house, proclaims a church for the poor, and on Holy Thursday washes the feet of Muslim women and other young people in a prison.
A typical publisher would say that in order for novels to succeed, they have to at least be believable. Last January, this probably would have been seen as unbelievable. But not any more.
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[A commentator said:] “Further, Francis is drawing so-called progressives and so-called conservatives together in the mission of the church as never before. Old fault lines between those who supported Vatican II and those who have been cool to it seem, for now, to have been diminished. In other words, Francis is acting as a pontiff, a bridge builder, should. He is a radical traditionalist.”