Midnight Mass of Christmas – 2014.12.24

Whispers in the Loggia: “This Is How God Is” – At First Audience, Francis “Steps Outside”

Whispers in the Loggia: “This Is How God Is” At First Audience, Francis “Steps Outside”

Continuing the weekly tradition of his predecessors, this morning saw Pope Francis’ first turn at the General Audience, his focus on Holy Week.

Speaking only in Italian, the new pontiff made it a point to note his intent to resume the topic begun by Benedict XVI in his Wednesday talks “after Easter.”

For now, though – just two weeks since his election – today’s appearance launches Francis into the intense cycle of Holy Week’s climactic days.

While Papa Bergoglio will celebrate and preach at the Chrism Mass in St Peter’s tomorrow morning, the widely-noted Evening Mass in Rome’s youth prison will be a private affair closed to press (even if photos might still emerge). By tradition, the pontiff doesn’t give the homily at the Good Friday liturgy in St Peter’s, but will likely offer closing remarks during the nighttime Via Crucis at the Colosseum.

In the Triduum’s home stretch, Francis will preside and preach the Easter Vigil in the Vatican basilica on Saturday night, and give his Urbi et Orbi message following the morning Mass in lieu of a liturgical sermon.

As future plans go, meanwhile, this morning the Vatican announced that the 266th bishop of Rome – the title by which Francis has most often defined himself – will formally take possession of his cathedral, St John Lateran, at an evening Mass on April 7th, the Second Sunday of Easter.

(Note: As seen above today, Francis has kept to employing his personal silver ring in everyday use, wearing the Fisherman’s Ring with which he was invested solelyfor major liturgies.)

 

Francis, the Jesuits and the Dirty War | National Catholic Reporter

Francis, the Jesuits and the Dirty War | National Catholic Reporter

Those who have not lived under a dictatorship should not be quick to judge those who have, whether the dictatorship was in ancient Rome, Latin America, Africa, Nazi Germany, Communist Eastern Europe, or today’s China. We should revere martyrs, but not demand every Christian be one.

Rumors and questions are circulating about Pope Francis and the time when he was the Jesuit provincial of Argentina and his relationship to two imprisoned Jesuits and the Argentine military dictatorship.

The Society of Jesus is filled with intelligent men who are passionate about their ideas and work, so of course there are arguments and disagreements just as there are in any family. I have had debates with other Jesuits over dinner where voices were raised, but that does not mean I don’t love them and would not be willing to die for them. We are a family.

Father Bergoglio, like Pope John Paul II, had serious reservations about liberation theology, which was embraced by many other Latin American Jesuits. As a North American I have trouble understanding these disputes since John Paul and Bergoglio obviously wanted justice for the poor while the liberation theologians were not in favor of violent revolution as their detractors claimed. But clearly this was an issue that divided the church in Latin America.

Part of the problem was the use of the term “Marxist analysis” by some liberation theologians, when they sought to show how the wealthy used their economic and political power to keep the masses down. The word “Marxist,” of course, drove John Paul crazy. Meanwhile, the Latin American establishment labeled as Communist anyone who wanted economic justice and political power for workers. Even many decent but cautious people feared that strikes and demonstrations would lead to violence. What is “prudent” can divide people of good will……..read more

Those who have not lived under a dictatorship should not be quick to judge those who have, whether the dictatorship was in ancient Rome, Latin America, Africa, Nazi Germany, Communist Eastern Europe, or today’s China. We should revere martyrs, but not demand every Christian be one.

via Francis, the Jesuits and the Dirty War | National Catholic Reporter.