- Jan 25, 2020
Weeks after its release on HBO, Paolo Sorrentino’s “The New Pope” series is already sparking blowback for the opening scene, during which a group of young nuns dance provocatively in sexy white nighties beneath a giant crucifix in an old monastery in Venice.
Look around at the lineup at an Oct. 3-6 summit at Rome’s Gregorian University on “Child Dignity in the Digital World,” and it’s a host of experts from the biggest outfits in their various fields — Harvard, Interpol, Facebook, UNICEF, Microsoft, and so on. It’s the cream of the crop, and it’s another illustration of the Vatican’s unique power to convene, since basically nobody can say no to an invite from the pope.
Pope Francis has revived what has been called a “noble tradition” of asking cardinals to inform him when they leave town and where they’re going. This show of papal muscle comes after the pope wrote a letter asking for obedience to a rioting diocese in Nigeria and the tensions with the Knights of Malta.
Christopher White is a convert to the Catholic faith who was drawn by the unity in the Church, with the pope being an important part of that unity. Now he wonders why Catholics who said “the cafeteria is closed” when John Paul II and Benedict XVI were popes, are under Pope Francis not only supporting an open cafeteria, but trying to start a food fight.
One of the key principles of reform is the idea of return, or rediscovery. To reform is not to change one’s nature or alter one’s identity, but to return to the truth of oneself that may have become distorted or atrophied over time.
St. Paul was on fire for Christ. Totally converted and traveling tirelessly, he evangelized, fought, wrote and preached. Peter was no less passionate for Christ, but his ministry became one of founding churches and taking the leadership role. If you like, Paul was the prophet, Peter the priest and pope.