- Oct 29, 2020
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.
Eastern and Western Christianity have been divided for a millennium, and although in recent decades both Catholic and Orthodox leaders have made closer ties a priority, some serious issues still remain — including, in the first place, the role and the authority of the pope.
In a wide-ranging news conference on Sunday, Pope Francis said Christians should apologize anytime “there are people we could have defended and we didn’t,” insisted that “there’s only one pope” despite recent talk of an expanded papacy, and denied that creating a commission necessarily “opens the door” to women deacons.
The resignation of Benedict XVI and election of Francis can be seen as the first steps toward a Spirit-led unfolding of a new-style papacy for the Third Millennium.