Francis’ humility, emphasis on the poor strike a new tone at the Vatican

27/05/2013

From New York Times News Service via Kvue.com

VATICAN CITY — He has criticised the “cult of money” and greed he sees driving the world financial system, reflecting his affinity for liberation theology. He has left Vatican officials struggling to keep up with his off-the-cuff remarks and impromptu forays into the crowds of tens of thousands that fill St Peter’s Square during his audiences. He has delighted souvenir vendors near the Vatican by increasing tourist traffic.

Pope Francis, the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina, has been in office for only two months, but already he has changed the tone of the papacy, lifting morale and bringing a new sense of enthusiasm to the Roman Catholic Church and to the Vatican itself, Vatican officials and the faithful say.

“It’s very positive. There’s a change of air, a sense of energy,” said one Vatican official, speaking with traditional anonymity. “Some people would use the term honeymoon, but there’s no indication that it will let up.”

Beyond appointing eight cardinals as outside advisers, Francis has not yet begun making concrete changes or set forth an ambitious policy agenda in a Vatican hierarchy that was gripped by scandal during the papacy of his successor, Pope Benedict XVI. Benedict, who resigned on 28 February, is now living in a monastery inside the Vatican.

But Francis’ emphasis on attention to the poor, and a style that is more akin to that of a parish priest, albeit one with one billion parishioners, is already transforming perceptions. He has chosen to live not in the papal apartments but rather in the Casa Santa Marta residence inside the Vatican, where he eats dinner in the company of lower-ranking priests and visitors.

Read full report at kvue.com


« Return to news list