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James Carroll on Pope Francis

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Pope Francis delivers his Christmas Day message from the central balcony of St Peter's Basilica on December 25, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. Pope Francis delivers his Christmas Day message from the central balcony of St Peter's Basilica on December 25, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. (Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

New Yorker contributing writer James Carroll discuses Pope Francis, and whether his recent statements about gays, women, capitalism and more might indicate a new direction for the Catholic Church.

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James Carroll

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Comments [11]

Ed from Larchmont

The Church has been working out and applying the teachings of Vatican II for the last 50 years. Some men were told that celibacy would be dropped soon and they became priests with that understanding, but it was only an unfounded rumor and never happened (might yet). (So what was her name?)

Jan. 02 2014 01:59 PM
Ed from Larchmont

He didn't accept liberation theology, it's erroneous. It's good you like the pope so much, so do I and those I know. He didn't cooperate with the government.

Jan. 02 2014 01:57 PM
Ed from Larchmont

If anyone thinks John Paul or Benedict were judgmental, they just weren't listening. Of course they teach the truth.

Jan. 02 2014 01:53 PM
Bob from Pelham, NY

In the same vein as Mary McAleese's comment on the upcoming synod, does anyone know when the Church last declared a modern married person with a family as a saint? Not a widow/widower who entered a religious order after the spouse passed, but a person who lived his/her life as married family person raising children. That describes the vast majority of Catholics, and we could use some role models and recognition.

Jan. 02 2014 01:52 PM
Ed from Larchmont

We loved Paul, we love John Paul, we loved Benedict ... we love Pope Francis. We love the Church. They see Christ in him. (And have you seen anyone more joyful than the popes - John Paul the pope of mercy; Benedict the pope of truth; Francis the pope of joy ... all men of prodigious abilities and prodigious responsibilities.

Jan. 02 2014 01:46 PM

Mr. Carroll has indicated elsewhere that the Pope may be compensating for what his rather passive role was in Argentina's "Dirty War"...itself a tacit admission. While I was initially caustic of this new pope (as a lapsed Catholic) for just this past role in one of South America's most rightist regimes, I have to say I'm heartened by his pronouncements. Would Carroll talk about the Pope's acknowledgement of his role in Argentina then?

Jan. 02 2014 01:41 PM
Ed from Larchmont

Exactly, radical. He will write a document on women soon, he wants women even more included in governance. But these things have their time.

If St. Malachy's prophesy is right, Pope Francis is the first pope who could be the last pope.

Cardinals - it is someone who has served the pope well and can be trusted. Don't have to be ordained.

Women can't be priests theologically, lots of arguments. (Anachronism? What is he talking about? They elect the pope. Not a throw back. Just wants to dismantle the church ... )

Jan. 02 2014 01:37 PM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

Clear something up for me, please: How can priests be gay if they're supposed to be celibate? Celibacy implies that their sexual orientation is not an issue because THEY DON'T HAVE SEX.

G-d is the one who stated that a man lying with a man as with a woman is an abomination. (Leviticus 18:4) Technically that can be construed as abhorring the act but not the person. On the other hand, G-d punished people for their acts, pretty severely, if I recall correctly.

One of the tenets of Christianity is original sin; if Pope Francis thinks he sees people without sin, isn't he missing the point? That, by the way, is one of the things that differentiates Christianity from Judaism. Jews do not believe in original sin; they believe that you are a sinner only if you sin, but it is possible not to sin. How to avoid sinning, however, is first to determine exactly what constitutes a sin. Jews also differentiate between sins against G-d and sins against other people. Sins against other people have to be forgiven by those people; sins against G-d have to be forgiven by G-d, if He's so inclined.

Jan. 02 2014 01:36 PM
Ed from Larchmont

The Church has always taught this - has he not listened to Paul, John Paul, or Benedict???

Yes, reconsider the rules and where they come from, and realize that there is an underlying status.

The Vatican hasn't defined itself against a sinful world - it preaches the truth to the world.

Jan. 02 2014 01:33 PM
Ed from Larchmont

Pope Francis is reminding us that the Church, while required to preach the truth, but that first of all the good news is that God and the Church are concerned about the person. But the doctrines aren't changing, see the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Jan. 02 2014 01:31 PM
Ed from Larchmont

He was commenting on a priest who had had a same-sex relationship and had repented, and he said 'who am I to judge ... if a person has repented and is seeking God, who am I to judge?" His office is to have the keys. Where has Mr. Carroll been? John Paul and Benedict were the same.

Jan. 02 2014 01:30 PM

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