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Sunday, August 06, 2017

The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope 

Ignatius and Francis are alike, too, in that they fuse two qualities that are seldom found combined in a person.  On the one hand, Ignatius (As this Francis) had raw political ability, which some might call charm: capacity for reading people, earning their trust, inspiring them, organising them to work for high ideals, together with enormous skills as a natural leader, teacher, and negotiator. On the other hand Ignatius (like Francis) was a mystic, who lived and led by discerning spirits, choosing whatever served the greater good, God's greater glory, which Jesuits described with the Latin word magis. Spiritual guides or so and good governance, and those in power almost never saints. Ignatius and Francis are among the few that break the mold. Pp55

He was restoring what had been lost: not spurning the church and its doctrines but seeking to recover their meaning and purpose, which were to reveal Christ. That meant to being against somethings, and offending some people, but only in order for the church to be more like it is, not to turn into something else.88

The pope - Clung to the idea of reform rather than rupture, reform not revolution,  89

He asked the priests if they were mediators or intermediaries. The mediator he said, was a bridge, he put others together at his own expense. An intermediary, on the other hand, was the one who profited at the expense of others. In both cases, a priest stands between, in the middle; yet there is a world of difference. The mediator is a pastor who is evangelising fervour is born of an encounter with Christ, he grows in his belonging to gods holy faithful people, where as an intermediary is a state cleric, functionary in whom the further has long died and who lives mainly for himself. 245

The understanding of the Catholic Church in its first centuries was that it was many yet one; plural yet united; local and universal. The church as a whole was more than the sum of its parts-it was a universal body, including Rome-yet the local diocese was not merely a department or province of a world church, but surely the church in that place 255

This was not just good theology-or, to be more exact, ecclesiology-but had implications for the way the church was governed.  Often throughout the Middle Ages Pope sort exert control over local diastases, to gain freedom from Medling Princes, or to push through reforms; yet they face pushback if they tried to use that control in ordinary times. 255 

Rigormisti - West Church teaching above all to be clear and on ambiguous
Riformisti - wished it to be credible in the puristic society. Behind these two tendencies look too different ecclesiologys 

Rigoristi wanted to tighten the Vatican control over questions of doctrine and discipline, with the riformisti  wanted great freedom of action in applying to church norms to local situations. The rigomisti liked to close down debate, making clear that norms were clear and unchanging; the reformisti prefer to keep some things open, believing that, in matters of ecclesiastical discipline, rather than unchanging doctrines of faith and morals, the local church should help the universal Church discern the need for changes in pastoral practices. 

Bergoglio told caritas staff and volunteers not to get hung up on protocols and legal niceties, but to set up projects that could deliver quickly and directly to those in need.268 

There was much talk of reform of governance-the need for a puppy was accessible, informed, and free to act-and for a fluid contact between Rome and the local church.... all could agree that Vatican dysfunction was a serious impediment to evangelisation, and that  Roman centralism and lack of accountability is one major causes of the dysfunction. 353 

His governance is collegial because it aims to broaden consultation, to include different points of view, and above all to open up the centre to the periphery. He encourages, in a way no Pope has done before, lively and honest disagreement, saying that the only place questions do not disagree is in the cemetery. But this does not mean that he shares decision-making. In many ways Francis is the most centralised Pope Saint Pius the ninth ... he understands power, and he has often used to bypass existing channels or advisors, as well as tradition and protocol,.  384

He said the greatest revelation of all it was "to go to the roots", and that real change was about strengthening identity, not replacing it. One who goes to the roots is a radical399

If the church is alive, it must always surprise, Francis told thousands in St Peter's Square on Penticost Sunday 2014, before swimming mysteriously. "A church that doesn't have the capacity to surprise is a week, second, and dying church. It should be taken to the recovery room at once."

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