Charlie Sennott, executive editor of GlobalPost and longtime reporter on the Catholic Church, examines the election and actions of Pope Francis and discusses what they mean for the future of the Church.
“I see a very symbolic shift and I think it’s an important one,” says Sennott. “I really do think that Pope Francis has shown right from day one that he wants to recognize that the church needs a lot of healing, that a lot of people have been alienated by Pope Benedict and by the history of John Paul the second — very traditionalist and very fundamentalist approach to the faith — and that there is going to be a thawing of that.”
Sennott sees Pope Benedict shifting the church’s focus to the poor but not instituting any major changes on the social issues of our time: views on women and homosexuality. However, he believes that there will be advancements on women’s issues in the church, though they will undoubtedly fall short of female ordination.
"Anyone who grew up with nuns knows the power and force of these women and the great good they do around the world. I think we will see a greater attention to that. It will be a very welcome change after all the tension and divisiveness that came with Pope Benedict’s real, I think you could call it campaign — some even call it an inquisition — against the more liberal nuns."