- Apr 21, 2021
The Philippines in most respects are a raging Catholic success story, and a country absolutely vital to Catholic fortunes in the 21st century – probably more so, however much it may hurt for Americans to hear it, than the United States.
When workers take to the streets to protest government measures that leave them unable to do their jobs, and thus impoverished and alone, under ordinary circumstances one would expect Pope Francis to be the cheerleader-in-chief.
Though it’s not the foundation of his beatification cause, there’s a heart-breaking papal footnote to Prime Minister Aldo Moro’s kidnapping. He was a lifelong friend of Pope Paul VI, and during those agonizing 55 days, the aging pontiff tried to move heaven and earth to secure his friend’s release.
Italy is where relationships trump logic every day of the week, and twice on Sunday. As a result, an ordinary Italian experiences no incongruity at all in being both ferociously anti-clerical and devoutly attached to the faith and their local parish.
The recent departure of American Monsignor Robert Oliver as secretary of the Pontifical Commission for Minors forms a small part of a bigger picture about a largely undiagnosed HR pandemic in the Vatican.
If you stand on a balcony and chuck a brick over the side, and that brick ends up hitting somebody in the street, it’s no defense to blame the law of gravity. Similarly, if you build a PR bomb and take no steps to defuse it, you don’t get to blame the media for the blast.
Every year on major Christian feast days, somewhere in the world, Christians will be killed for no reason other than that they chose to attend religious services.
Pope Francis legendarily has a keen sense of justice and a hard-wired bias in favor of the underdog, but it’s also clear that Francis, like pretty much every reformer pope before him, is still struggling with the institutional translation of those core instincts.