Pope Francis presided over the first canonizations of his pontificate on 12 May 2013 in which he canonized Antonio Primaldo and his 812 companions as well as the nuns Laura of Saint Catherine of Siena and Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavalia – in this first canonization he surpassed the record of Pope John Paul II in canonizing the most saints in a pontificate. Francis approved the equipollent canonization of "Angela of Foligno the following 9 October and then the Jesuit "Peter Faber the following 17 December.
The pope approved further equipollent canonizations on 3 April 2014 for the Jesuit "José de Anchieta as well as the "Ursuline nun "Marie of the Incarnation and bishop "François de Laval. Francis canonized his two predecessors John XXIII and John Paul II on 27 April 2014 and canonized six additional saints the following 23 November. The pope canonized "Joseph Vaz on his visit to Sri Lanka on 14 January 2015 and canonized a further four saints on the following 17 May; he canonized Junípero Serra on 23 September while visiting the United States and then canonized four saints on 18 October including the first married couple to be named as saints. Francis canonized "Maria Elisabeth Hesselblad and "Stanislaus Papczyński on 5 June 2016 and then canonized "Teresa of Calcutta on 4 September; he canonized seven additional saints on 16 October.
The pope has also continued the practice of having beatifications celebrated in the place of the individual's origin though has presided over beatifications himself on two occasions for "Paul Yun Ji-Chung and 123 companions on 16 August 2014 and his predecessor Pope Paul VI on 19 October 2014. The pope has approved beatifications for a range of men and women including the likes of "Álvaro del Portillo of Opus Dei (27 September 2014) and the martyred archbishop "Óscar Romero (23 May 2015).
At the first "consistory of his papacy, held on 22 February 2014, Francis created 19 new cardinals. At the time of their elevation to that rank, 16 of these new cardinals were under eighty years of age and thus eligible to vote in a "papal conclave. The new appointees included prelates from South America, Africa, and Asia, including appointees in some of the world's poorest countries, such as "Chibly Langlois from "Haiti and "Philippe Nakellentuba Ouedraogo from "Burkina Faso. The consistory was a rare occasion in which Francis and his predecessor, "Benedict XVI, appeared together in public.
Benedict XVI also attended the second consistory on 14 February 2015, at which Francis elevated 20 new cardinals, with 15 under the age of eighty and five over the age of eighty. The pope continued his practice of appointing cardinals from the peripheries, such as "Charles Maung Bo of "Myanmar and "Soane Patita Paini Mafi of "Tonga.
Francis presided over the third consistory of his papacy on 19 November 2016, elevating 17 new cardinals. Of that total number at the time of their elevation, 13 were under the age of eighty and four were over the age of eighty. Francis continued his previous practice of elevating cardinals from the peripheries with an emphasis again on Asia and Africa, such as "Patrick D'Rozario from "Bangladesh and "Dieudonné Nzapalainga from the "Central African Republic, while also naming the first three American cardinals of his papacy and only one Curial appointment.
Year of Mercy
With his April 2015 "papal bull of indiction, Misericordiae Vultus ("Latin: "The Face of "Mercy"), Francis inaugurated a Special "Jubilee Year of Mercy, to run from 8 December 2015, "Solemnity of the "Immaculate Conception of the "Blessed Virgin Mary, to the last Sunday before "Advent and the Solemnity of the "Feast of Christ the King of the Universe on 20 November 2016.
The "Holy Doors of the major basilicas of Rome (including the Great Door of St. Peter's) were opened, and special "Doors of Mercy" were opened at cathedrals and other major churches around the world, where the faithful can earn indulgences by fulfilling the usual conditions of prayer for the Pope's intentions, confession, and detachment from sin, and communion. During Lent of that year, special 24-hour penance services will be celebrated, and during the year, special qualified and experienced priests called "Missionaries of Mercy" will be available in every diocese to forgive even severe, special-case sins normally reserved to the Holy See's "Apostolic Penitentiary.
Since 2016, criticisms against Francis by some conservative Catholics intensified. Francis's openings to "modernity on sexual morality, communion for remarried Catholics and friendly relations with other religions have opened a gulf between progressives and traditionalists." Other conservatives have criticized his "simultaneously combative" and "charming" administrative style which they assert the pontiff has "wielded" against conservative opponents." Francis has also been contrasted with "Donald Trump, with some conservative critics drawing comparisons between the two.
The Pope drew criticism in 2013 for appearing on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica with "Godfried Danneels in the Pope's initial presentation, as well as appointments he received from Francis. Danneels had previously recommended silence on sex-crimes committed by priests. In 2014 his rehabilitation of Fr. Mauro Inzoli, who was defrocked in 2012 for sexually abusing minors, sparked controversy. In 2015, he was criticized for supporting Chilean bishop Juan Barros, who was accused over covering up sex-crimes against minors. In February 2017, further criticism from clergy sex abuse survivors erupted when it was revealed that the Pope had quietly made the Church-recommended sentence for clergy convicted of sex abuse a lifetime of prayer rather than a recommendation to serve time in jail.
On a theological level, major controversy erupted after the publication of the apostolic exhortation "Amoris laetitia. Four Cardinals formally asked Pope Francis for clarifications, particularly on the issue of giving communion to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics. They submitted five "dubia" (doubts), and requested a yes or no answer. Francis declined to answer--a move which British Cardinal "Vincent Nichols characterized as "absolutely right," noting that “to enter into that field is actually to step back from the very thing he wants to help us understand, that we have to respond to people and help them in their journey to God and to do so is not simply to apply a law.” Strong divergences of interpretation appeared among bishops. Some bishops issued guidelines for their diocese insisting that divorced and civilly remarried Catholics remain ineligible for the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist unless they live in continence, while other bishops opened up the possibility of access to these sacraments. Cardinal "Carlo Caffarra, one of the authors of the dubia, sustains that after Amoris laetitia "only a blind man could deny there's great confusion, uncertainty and insecurity in the Church."
In February 2017, posters appeared around Rome featuring a stern-looking Pope Francis, complaining about Francis's actions against conservative Catholics, and challenging his reputation for mercy. According to vaticanist Inés San Martín this is "the first time in most Romans' memories that the city has seen posters in major public venues complaining about the policies of a given pope". A week later, the Pope was targeted by a "fake news hoax, which spoofed "L'Osservatore Romano. In response, the "Council of Cardinal Advisers appointed by the Pope voiced its "full support" to Francis. In March 2017, when Cardinal "Donald Wuerl was asked about the Pope's critics, he concluded: "I think, there are just some people who can’t bring themselves to move beyond where they are. These look at things through one lens only. But this pontificate and 'Amoris Laetitia' are multifaceted, and if you can only see them through one lens, you’re never going to be able to appreciate this."
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Francis told "La Civiltà Cattolica that the church does not need to speak constantly of the issues of abortion, artificial "contraception, and homosexuality. He thought that other issues, notably the duty to help those who are poor and marginalized, have been neglected. He added that the church had focused in trivial issues, and as such should not be so prone to condemn, and that priests should be more welcoming. He said the "confessional should be used to motivate people to better themselves.
Pope Francis said that the most powerful message of Jesus Christ is mercy. His motto, Miserando atque eligendo, is about Jesus's mercy towards sinners. The phrase is taken from a homily of St. Bede, who commented that Jesus "saw "the tax collector and, because he saw him through the eyes of mercy and chose him, he said to him: 'Follow me'".[e] The motto is a reference to the moment when he found his vocation to the priesthood, at the age of 17. He started a day of student celebrations by going to confession.
As cardinal he thought Christian morality is not a titanic effort of the will, but a response to the mercy of God. It is not a matter of never falling down but of always getting up again. In this sense, he says Christian morality is a revolution. The Gospel reading for the Sunday he was scheduled to give his first public address as pope was on Jesus's "forgiveness of the adulterous woman. This allowed him to discuss the principle that God never wearies of forgiving humans and to stress the importance of never tiring in asking for forgiveness. Because of this emphasis, many have returned to God and to "confession, a result which has been called the "Francis effect".
In March 2015, Pope Francis announced that the universal church would celebrate a Jubilee Year from 8 December 2015 to 20 November 2016, dedicated to the theme of God's mercy. The Vatican announced the pope would perform several acts to demonstrate the theme of God's mercy.
Faith and evangelization
Pope Francis's first encyclical, "Lumen Fidei", was on faith and his first apostolic exhortation, "Evangelii Gaudium", was on the new evangelization. In both his first "homily as pope and in his first address to the cardinals, Francis talked about walking in the presence of Jesus Christ and stressed the church's mission to announce him. In the audience with the cardinals, he emphasized the concept of "encounter with Jesus":
Stimulated by the Year of Faith, all together, pastors and faithful, we will make an effort to respond faithfully to the eternal mission: to bring Jesus Christ to humanity, and to lead humanity to an encounter with Jesus Christ: the Way, the Truth, and the Life, truly present in the Church and, at the same time, in every person. This encounter makes us become new men in the mystery of "Grace, provoking in our hearts the Christian joy that is a hundredfold that given us by Christ to those who welcome Him into their lives.
In his homily, he stressed that "if we do not profess Jesus Christ, things go wrong. We may become a charitable "NGO, but not the Church, the "Bride of the Lord." He went on to teach that "When we do not profess Jesus Christ, we profess the worldliness of the devil... when we profess Christ without the Cross, we are not disciples of the Lord, we are worldly". The theme of rejecting "spiritual worldliness", described as a "leitmotif of his teachings even before he became pope, was emphasized in his first apostolic exhortation. Understanding this worldliness as "putting oneself at the center", he said that it is the "greatest danger for the Church, for us, who are in the Church".
After his election Francis stated, "Here too, it helps me to think of the name of Francis [of Assisi], who teaches us profound respect for the whole of creation and the protection of our "environment, which all too often, instead of using for the good, we exploit greedily, to one another's detriment.". At the "University of Molise he described "environmental concerns as a great contemporary challenge and voiced opposition to "deforestation. He believes that development should respect what Christians see as creation, and that exploiting the earth is sinful. Francis told the Second International Conference on Nutrition, held in Rome by the "Food and Agriculture Organization, that a lack of protection for the ecology may generate problems. Francis plans a meeting with leaders of main religions to increase awareness of the state of the climate.
On 18 June 2015, Pope Francis issued a "papal encyclical called "Laudato si' on "climate change, care for the environment, and sustainable development. The encyclical, although dated 24 May 2015, was officially made public on 18 June 2015. The encyclical sets apart the basic human needs and appetites. Francis considers that the former are small and non-negotiable, and that the latter are potentially unlimited. Although he asks for the use of "renewable energy instead of conventional fuels, he thinks that it would not be enough unless society turns down the unlimited appetites of consumerism. This project was opposed by Vatican conservatives, Catholic conservatives, and the US evangelical movement. In the encyclical, Frances states "The Earth, our home, is beginning to look like an immense pile of filth."
As he prepared for the encyclical, Francis sponsored a "Pontifical Academy of Sciences summit meeting in April 2015 that focused on the relationships connecting poverty, economic development, and climate change. The meeting included presentations and discussions by scientists, religious leaders, and economists. The "United Nations secretary general, "Ban Ki-moon, who is urging world leaders to approve a climate-change accord in Paris at the "2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in December, delivered the keynote address.
While he has said that the greatest poverty is "the lack of Christ," and the "only one real kind of poverty" is "not living as children of God and brothers and sisters in Christ", Francis has also been very outspoken against material poverty. At a meeting of Latin American bishops in 2007, Bergoglio said that, despite the economic growth, poverty had not been reduced in the continent, and asked for a better "income distribution. On 30 September 2009, Bergoglio spoke at a conference organized by the "Argentina City Postgraduate School (EPOCA) at the "Alvear Palace Hotel in which he quoted the 1992 "Documento de Santo Domingo" by the "Latin American Episcopal Conference, saying ""extreme poverty and unjust economic structures that cause great "inequalities" are violations of "human rights. He went on to describe social debt as "immoral, unjust, and illegitimate".
During a 48-hour public servant strike in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Bergoglio criticized unequal treatment of the judiciary to poor and rich people. In 2002, during "an economic crisis, Bergoglio harshly criticized those in power, saying, "[l]et's not tolerate the sad spectacle of those who no longer know how to lie and contradict themselves to hold onto their privileges, their rapaciousness, and their ill-earned wealth". During a May 2010 Mass celebrated by twenty bishops commemorating the "Argentina Bicentennial in front of the "basilica of Luján, an important Catholic institution and destination of pilgrimage, Bergoglio criticized the reduced social concern over poverty and exhorted Catholics to ask the "Virgin of Luján to "take care of our motherland, particularly those who are most forgotten". In line with the "Catholic Church's efforts to care for AIDS victims, in 2001 he visited a hospice where he washed and kissed the feet of twelve AIDS patients. As Pope Francis he spoke out over the "collapse of Rana Plaza garment factory in April 2013, which killed over a thousand people, and condemned the low pay workers received.
Pope Francis urged world leaders to prevent excessive monetary ambitions, which he said had become similar to an "idolatry of money, and urged them to provide more welfare aid. Dealing with the "Great Recession, the pope criticized unbridled capitalism, considering that it judged human beings purely by their ability to consume goods and made people miserable. He said that social inequality is caused by "economic liberalism, and preferred economic systems with a higher intervention by the state. During a May 2014 meeting with U.N. Secretary General "Ban Ki-moon, Francis called on the United Nations to encourage a better income distribution. In 2015, he declared that the poor and downtrodden of the world should have "sacred rights" of labor, lodging, and land, and denounced the "austerity imposed by global financial institutions, referring to it as the "new colonialism".
Pope Francis deplores "modern slavery and, together with a diverse group of leaders from other religions, he signed a declaration promising to inspire action worldwide in an effort to eliminate slavery by 2020. Both Pope Francis and the declaration described slavery as a "crime against humanity. During his new year mass in 2015 Francis pressed people from all cultures and religions to combat human trafficking and modern slavery according to their responsibilities. Francis said all human beings are brothers and sisters and all have a right to be free.
Chancellor of Germany "Angela Merkel consulted Francis on 18 May 2013, and later the same day called for more stringent controls of "financial markets. Francis has referred many times to the "Eurozone crisis that affect "Greece and Roman Catholic Southern European nations. Nevertheless, Pope Francis considers that starvation and homeless people are bigger problems than the financial crises. "George Haley of "New Haven University said that Francis thinks that capitalism should reduce income disparity, and proposed that he used the diplomatic influence of the Vatican to suggest changes in national economies. Rohit Arora is concerned that Francis has not come up with any specific way to solve income inequality and believes if the pope is serious he should do so. Joseph Pastore believes the wealth of the Catholic Church prevents Francis from taking a polarizing position and is unsure how far Francis can reform the Church.
Pope Francis denounced the "autonomy of the marketplace" and "financial speculation" as tyranny in his 84-page "apostolic exhortation "Evangelii gaudium:
Just as the commandment "Thou shalt not kill" sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say "thou shalt not" to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills. ... A new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, which unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules. To all this we can add widespread corruption and self-serving tax evasion, which has taken on worldwide dimensions. The thirst for power and possessions knows no limits.
Pope Francis's views were called "Marxist by "Rush Limbaugh and other conservatives as a result of his critique of capitalism with absolute market autonomy. Pope Francis responded that "Marxist ideology is wrong. But I have met many Marxists in my life who are good people, so I don't feel offended … there is nothing in the exhortation that cannot be found in the social doctrine of the church." He later postulated that the Communists "stole" the flag of Christianity as "the flag of the poor is Christian. Poverty is at the center of the Gospel."
Francis opposed the Marxist versions of liberation theology followed by the "'progressive' group of [Jesuit] theologians living out in base communities". As he wrote in the preface to a book on the Catholic Church in Latin America, Una apuesta por América Latina (A Commitment to Latin America) by "Guzmán Carriquiry Lecour, the proponents of liberation theology were unable to reformulate it after the collapse of Marxism, and it thus became an anachronism. His theologian of reference was "Juan Carlos Scannone, a fellow Jesuit who had developed a theology centered on the "religious devotion of the common people".
Historian Roberto Bosca at the "Austral University in Buenos Aires says that Pope Francis supported liberation theology's preferential option for the poor, although "in a nonideological fashion". Before becoming Pope, Cardinal Bergoglio described liberation theology's preferential option for the poor as part of a long Christian tradition rooted in the Gospels. Bergoglio's opposition focused on the "Montoneros, a terrorist group similar to the European "Red Brigades that caused nearly 6,000 deaths. Montoneros claimed that they ascribed to liberation theology, and sought support from the Church. Bosca considers that Bergoglio's opposition to the liberation theology "wasn't opposition to liberation theology in itself or the option for the poor", but opposition to the possible official Catholic support to the Montoneros.
Despite his caution about elements of liberation theology, Francis met with "Gustavo Gutiérrez, who is usually regarded as its founder. Gutiérrez had co-authored a book with "Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the "Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Vatican's semiofficial newspaper "L'Osservatore Romano said at the time that the liberation theology should not continue to be ignored.
Pope Francis's beatification of "Archbishop of San Salvador "Óscar Romero, who was assassinated in March 1980 as he said mass, as a martyr to the church is seen as Francis's strong support for the poor and those who defend that stance.
Throughout his papacy, Pope Francis has been a vocal opponent of both the practice and legality of abortion. In May 2013, Francis unexpectedly participated in Italy's "pro-life march in Rome, asking its participants to protect human life "from the moment of conception". Also, as the mostly Catholic country of Ireland was preparing legislation to legalize abortion, Francis sent a message to the Irish asking them to protect the lives of both the unborn and vulnerable people. Also in May 2013, during a Wednesday audience Francis officially blessed the pro-life march in "Szczecin, "Poland, one of Europe's largest pro-life events and, speaking in Italian, encouraged the Poles to defend the unborn. He maintained that human life should be respected all the way from conception to natural death.
At a September 2013 meeting with Catholic gynecologists, Francis condemned abortion saying that: "Every child that isn't born, but is unjustly condemned to be aborted, has the face of Jesus Christ, has the face of the Lord." He advised the gynecologists to invoke the "conscience clause to refuse to perform abortions, if so requested.
Francis also thought, as a Cardinal, that the church should support those women who carry on with their pregnancy despite being "single parents, rejecting the option to abort. He maintained that, in those cases, priests should not refuse to "baptize those children. During a "Baptism of the Lord Mass in the "Sistine Chapel, Pope Francis baptised the baby of a couple in a "civil marriage.
Following the conclusion of the "Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy on 20 November 2016, Francis appealed to all priests to permanently allow the forgiveness of women who had an abortion, as well as anyone who had been involved in completing the procedure. While Francis reiterated that the sin of abortion (an act punishable with automatic excommunication) is "a grave sin", he affirmed that "there is no sin that God’s mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart."
Jon O'Brien, the president of U.S. "pro-choice Catholic dissident advocacy group "Catholics for Choice, praised the pope's effort, and said "it showed that Francis understood the deep chasm that exists between ordinary Catholics – who turn to abortion and birth control with the same frequency as people of other faiths – and their clergy."
Ordination of women
Francis has often spoken about the importance of "women in the Roman Catholic Church. He considers that they have a special role in spreading the faith to their children and grandchildren. He also considers that, although the "first witnesses of the "resurrection of Jesus were women, their significance was ignored because, for the "Jewish law of the time, only males were "credible witnesses.
Francis has addressed the subject of the "ordination of women a number of times. Francis has ruled out the possibility of female priests, stating that this has been the longtime stance of the Church, and that ""John Paul II made the Church's stance "definitive. The door is closed." Francis ruled out female cardinals in December 2013.
On the other hand, Francis has been noncommittal about whether women should lead more in administration and pastoral activities.
Erin Saiz Hanna of the "Women's Ordination Conference has accused Francis of a "selective use of evidence. She mentioned that the "Pontifical Biblical Commission had once concluded that there were no scriptural or theological problems with ordaining women, and cited the attitude of Jesus towards women and their leadership in the "early church. She also suggested that his rejection to the ordination of women may be at odds with his tolerance of "gay priests, mentioned in the same interview.
Francis has criticized the perceived hunger for power of some sectors of the curia, which come at the expense of a proper religious life. He thinks that gossip is a danger to the reputation of people, and that the presence of cliques within organizations is a threat to both the individual and the organization. Francis thinks that priests should be in contact with the people as much as possible and avoid isolation. He also suggests that priests should encourage people to be optimistic. He has been supported by Rome bishops, priests, deacons, and seminarians from the English-speaking world who attended the second international conference of the Confraternities of Catholic Clergy.
In September 2013, Pope Francis approved the excommunication of Australian priest Greg Reynolds, the first during Francis's papacy. Reynolds was accused of heresy and sacrilegious treatment of the consecrated host. His public preaching contradicting church teaching was also referenced in the letter of excommunication. A letter sent by the Archbishop of Melbourne, "Denis Hart, to the priests of his diocese cited Reynolds's support for the ordination of women and "his public celebration of the Eucharist when he did not hold faculties to act publicly as a priest". Reynolds said that his support of "same-sex marriage was also a factor, though not mentioned.
In response to the "Catholic Church sexual abuse cases, Francis created the "Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. In the past, priests who committed abuses were removed by bishops, but bishops were rarely held accountable. This tribunal was created to prevent cover-ups of abuse cases; offenders would be dealt with by the "Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Barbara Blaine, president of the organization "Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, considered that it may not be effective.
As a cardinal, Bergoglio's views regarding the "celibacy of priests were recorded in the book "On Heaven and Earth, a record of conversations conducted with a Buenos Aires rabbi. He says that celibacy is a matter of discipline rather than faith, and that tradition and experience would advise to keep it. He noted that the Byzantine, Ukrainian, Russian, and Greek Catholic Churches allow married men to be ordained priests, but not bishops.[f] He said that many of those in Western Catholicism who are pushing for more discussion about the issue do so from a position of pragmatism, based on a loss of manpower. He states that "If, hypothetically, Western Catholicism were to review the issue of celibacy, I think it would do so for cultural reasons (as in the East), not so much as a universal option." He emphasized that, in the meantime, the rule must be strictly adhered to, and any priest who cannot obey it should leave the ministry. The National Catholic Reporter's Vatican analyst, "Thomas J. Reese, also a Jesuit, praised Bergoglio's use of conditional language. He said that phrases like "for the moment" and "for now" are "not the kind of qualifications one normally hears when bishops and cardinals discuss celibacy."
The initial reports that Francis considered that the use of methods intended for contraception with the purpose of preventing disease might be permissible were disputed by others who said he was "unwaveringly orthodox on matters of sexual morality". Before becoming Pope he opposed the free distribution of contraceptives when it was introduced by the Kirchner government. Francis emphasized that "contraception involves "destruction of the family through the privation of children." At the same time, Francis teaches that "responsible parenthood" is important, and suggested that population experts recommend three children in a family, and added that Christians do not need to breed in excess. Francis encourages "natural family planning such as avoiding "sexual intercourse when the woman is fertile.
As bishop and Pope, Francis restated the "Church's principle: that homosexual practice is intrinsically immoral, but that every homosexual person deserves respect and love. He opposes "same-sex marriage, including the 2010 "bill to introduce it in Argentina. In July 2010, while the law was under consideration, he wrote a letter to Argentina's cloistered nuns in which he said the Argentine "nuclear family could be seriously harmed. He thought that children would face discrimination and lose the development that a father and mother give.
Let's not be naïve: This is not a simple political fight; it is a destructive proposal to God's plan. This is not a mere legislative proposal (that's just its form), but a move by the father of lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God ... Let's look to St. Joseph, Mary, and the Child to ask fervently that they defend the Argentine family in this moment... May they support, defend, and accompany us in this war of God.
After "L'Osservatore Romano reported this, several priests expressed their support for the law and one was defrocked. Observers believe that the church's opposition and Bergoglio's language worked in favor of the law's passage and that in response, Catholic officials adopted a more conciliatory tone in later debates on social issues such as parental "surrogacy.
Rubin, Bergoglio's biographer, said that while taking a strong stand against same-sex marriage, Bergoglio raised the possibility in 2010 with his bishops in Argentina that they support the idea of "civil unions as a compromise position. According to one news report by The New York Times, a majority of the bishops voted to overrule him. Miguel Woites, the director of the Catholic News Agency of Argentina, denied that Bergoglio ever made such a proposal, but additional sources, including two Argentine journalists and two senior officials of the Argentine bishops conference, supported Rubin's account.
In an interview on 28 July 2013, when discussing homosexuals (both in general and their place in the clergy) and answering a question as to whether there was a "gay lobby" in the Vatican, the pontiff said, "If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him? The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this in a beautiful way, saying … wait a moment, how does it say it … it says: "no one should marginalize these people for this, they must be integrated into society"." According to two "gay rights activists, Marcelo Márquez and Andrés Albertsen, Bergoglio expressed support for the spiritual needs of "homosexual people" and willingness to support "measured actions" on their behalf in private conversations with them. These remarks have been seen as an encouraging change of tone from the papacy, so much so that the American "LGBT magazine "The Advocate named Pope Francis their Person of the Year for 2013.
On 5 January 2014, the Vatican denied that the Pontiff supports "gay unions. In response to various Italian "tabloid articles released in the media, Vatican spokesman Father "Federico Lombardi cited that various media misinterpretations are "paradoxical" and manipulative in misusing Pope Francis's words noted in response to children growing up in non-traditional families. The New York Times considers that Bergoglio may have supported gay unions in Argentina only as a negotiated compromise, but that his context as a Pope is very different. In 2015, Pope Francis declared that "the family is threatened by growing efforts on the part of some to redefine the very institution of marriage" and suggested that same-sex marriage "disfigures God's plan for creation". The Pontiff supported the "Slovak referendum on banning gay marriage and gay adoption in an address to St. Peter's Square, stating: "I wish to express my appreciation to the entire Slovak church, encouraging everyone to continue their efforts in defense of the family, the vital cell of society." In October 2015, priest and Vatican theologian Priest "Krzysztof Charamsa was stripped of his posts after announcing he was homosexual and denouncing the Church for "persecuting" and causing "immeasurable suffering" to homosexuals.
On 2 October 2016, Pope Francis spoke in favor of pastoral care for and including "transgender Catholics in the church, stating priests should "accompany them spiritually" and that they should never be turned away, even if they have undergone "gender transition and "sex-reassignment operations. He spoke out against "Gender Theory", that is the concept that "gender identity is not definite and can change, being taught in schools and referred to it as "ideological colonization" and said it was one of the threats against traditional marriage and is destructive to children.
Francis once held an audience with a Spanish transgender man, who had transitioned from female to male, and his wife.
"New Ways Ministry and "DignityUSA, two LGBT Catholic Advocacy groups, both spoke out against Pope Francis's statements regarding gender identity, calling it "dangerous ignorance" of the issue.
Francis condemned persecution of religious minorities in "Iraq including "some Christian victims. He did not mention the "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant specifically but is believed to have referred to it. Francis mentioned children dying of hunger and thirst, kidnapped women, massacres, and violence of all kinds. In the opinion of Francis war and hatred cannot be carried out in the name of God. Francis thanked brave people bringing aid to those driven from their homes. He confidently expects an effective solution to stop those crimes and return the area to the "rule of law and, in a break with Vatican tradition, supports the use of force to stop Islamic militants from attacking religious minorities in Iraq.
Capital punishment and life imprisonment
Pope Francis proposed the abolition of both "capital punishment and "life imprisonment in a meeting with representatives of the "International Association of Penal Law. He thinks that states should find another way to protect people from aggression, and includes deaths caused by "police brutality and "extrajudicial punishment. He affirmed that the Church accepts it when there are no other options to protect the people, but considers that nowadays such cases may be minimal or even nonexistent. He also thinks that life imprisonment, recently removed from the Vatican penal code, is just a variation of the death penalty.
Ecumenism with other Christians
In a notable interview with "La Stampa, Pope Francis emphasized his commitment to "ecumenism, stating: "For me, ecumenism is a priority. Today, we have the ecumenism of blood. In some countries they kill Christians because they "wear a cross or have a Bible, and before killing them they don't ask if they're Anglicans, Lutherans, Catholics or Orthodox. The blood is mixed." During the "Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Pope Francis addressed the attendees of the John 17 Movement gathering opining that ""Division is the work of the "Father of Lies" and that he "knows that Christians are disciples of Christ: that they are one, that they are brothers! He doesn't care if they are Evangelicals, or Orthodox, Lutherans, Catholics or Apostolic…he doesn't care! They are Christians. And that blood (of martyrdom) unites. Today, dear brothers and sisters, we are living an 'ecumenism of blood'. This must encourage us to do what we are doing today: to pray, to dialogue together, to shorten the distance between us, to strengthen our bonds of brotherhood." During the 2016 "Octave of Christian Unity, Pope Francis "asked forgiveness for the way Catholics had treated other Christian believers over the years, and also invited Catholics to pardon those who had persecuted them."
In October 2014, Pope Francis met for the first time with a delegation of the "Old Catholic Church's Bishops' Conference of the "Union of Utrecht, lead by the Archbishop of Utrecht and President of the International Old Catholic Bishops Conference "Joris Vercammen. The Pope reflected on the shared ecumenical journey of the two churches since their 18th century schism over the issue of "Papal primacy. The Pope called for Catholics and "Independent Catholics to "persevere in dialogue and to walk, pray and work together in a deeper spirit of conversion" and stated that there are "many areas in which Catholics and Old Catholics can collaborate in tackling the profound spiritual crisis affecting individuals and societies, especially in Europe."
Bergoglio is recognized for his efforts "to further close the nearly 1,000-year estrangement with the "Orthodox Churches". Antoni Sevruk, rector of the Russian Orthodox Church of Saint Catherine the Great Martyr in Rome, said that Bergoglio "often visited Orthodox services in the Russian Orthodox Annunciation Cathedral in Buenos Aires" and is known as an advocate on behalf of the Orthodox Church in dealing with Argentina's government.
Bergoglio's positive relationship with the Eastern Orthodox churches is reflected in the fact that "Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople attended his installation. This is the first time since the "Great Schism of 1054 that the Orthodox "Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, a position considered "first among equals in the Eastern "Orthodox Church organization, has attended a papal installation. Orthodox leaders state that Bartholomew's decision to attend the ceremony shows that the relationship between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches is a priority of his, but they also note that Francis's "well-documented work for social justice and his insistence that globalization is detrimental to the poor" may have created a "renewed opportunity" for the two Church communities to "work collectively on issues of mutual concern".[g]
On 12 February 2016, Pope Francis and "Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, head of the "Russian Orthodox Church, met in Havana, Cuba, issuing the "Joint Declaration of Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill, calling for restored Christian unity between the two churches. This was reported as the first such high-level meeting between the two churches since the "Great Schism of 1054.
In May 2013, Pope Francis met with "Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria in the Vatican. The meeting coincided with the 40th anniversary of the first visit by a "Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria to the Vatican; when "Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria met with "Pope Paul VI on 10 May, 1973. Francis reflected on the close relationship between the Catholic Church and the "Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, saying that the visit "strengthens the bonds of friendship and brotherhood that already exist between the See of Peter and the See of Mark" and praised the Commission for Theological Dialogue for preparing ground for dialogue between the Catholic Church and "Oriental Orthodox churches. Pope Francis also acknowledged the two churches shared beliefs in the Trinity, the divinity of Christ, Marian devotion, apostolic traditions, and the seven sacraments.
In June 2015, Pope Francis met with "Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, "Patriarch of the "Syriac Orthodox Church. The two primates discussed their desire to work toward full communion between their two churches, stating that Antioch and Rome are the only two Apostolic Sees where St. Peter the Apostle had preached. They also expressed an eagerness to celebrate Easter on a common date, as Catholics and Oriental Orthodox have separate days for Easter.
In May 2016, Pope Francis sent a letter to Tawadros II, acknowledging their shared commitment to holiness and defending the dignity of human life and celebrating friendship between Catholics and Coptic Orthodox Christians. The Pope said, "we are able even now to make visible the communion uniting us."
In February 2017, The Pope met with Coptic bishops at the Vatican to discuss the violence against and "persecution of Christians in the Middle East.
"Gregory Venables, "Anglican Bishop of Argentina and former Primate of the "Anglican Church of the Southern Cone of America, said that Cardinal Bergoglio had told him very clearly that the "personal ordinariates established within the Catholic Church for groups of former Anglicans was "quite unnecessary" and that the Catholic Church needed Anglicans as Anglicans. A spokesman for the ordinariates said the words were those of Venables, not the Pope. Pope Francis met for the first time the "Archbishop of Canterbury, "Justin Welby, when he visited the Vatican, on 14 June 2013. The Roman Pontiff said that they both shared the same concerns for social justice, peace and the promotion of Christian values, in matters like marriage. The second meeting took place at the Vatican, on 16 June 2014, with Pope Francis and Justin Welby recommitting themselves to work against modern slavery and human trafficking. Pope Francis has expressed his support for the "Anglican realignment, sending through his personal friend, Gregory Venables, a message to the Archbishop "Foley Beach of the "Anglican Church in North America, a newly formed church outside of the Anglican Communion and not officially recognized by the "Archbishop of Canterbury, with his "personal greetings and congratulations as he leads his church in the very important job of revival" and asking Venables to embrace him on his behalf. It was presented during Archbishop Beach's enthronement, which took place at the Church of the Apostles in "Atlanta, "Georgia, on 9 October 2014.
On 31 October 2016, Pope Francis commemorated the 499th anniversary of the "Reformation with Lutherans in "Sweden. This event opened the 500th year[h] since the Reformation began with Martin Luther posting his "Ninety-Five Theses in "Wittenberg in 1517. The Pope visited the 950 year old "Lund Cathedral, located in Sweden's southernmost and originally Danish province of "Scania. He celebrated an ecumenical liturgy together with the president of the "Lutheran World Federation Bishop Dr. "Munib Younan. A treaty aims for these two "branches" of "Christianity to in the future more see what unites than differs between them. (Pope Francis previously made a similar treaty with the Orthodox Church.) The following day the Pope conducted a Catholic mass at a football stadium in "Malmö
"Mark Hanson, then presiding bishop of the "Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), greeted the news of Bergoglio's election with a public statement that praised his work with "Lutherans in Argentina.
During his "Papal visit to the Philippines in 2015, the Pope met with "Chief Justice "Reynato Puno, a "United Methodist layman, along with nine other religious leaders and peace advocates to discuss humanitarian relief. In 2016, Pope Francis met with members of the "World Methodist Council, the Methodist Council of Europe, and the "Methodist Church in Britain, who were in Rome for the opening of the Methodist Ecumenical Office there. The Pope called for Catholics and Methodists to unite in their Christian beliefs and in service to others. Pope Francis referred to Catholics and Methodists as "truly brothers and sisters" and, reflecting on the words of the Anglican priest and founder of Methodism "John Wesley in his Letter to a Roman Catholic, quoted "if we cannot as yet think alike in all things, at least we may love alike."
"Evangelical Christian leaders, including Argentine "Luis Palau, welcomed the news of Bergoglio's election as Pope based on his relations with "Evangelical Protestants, noting that Bergoglio's financial manager for the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires was an Evangelical Christian whom Bergoglio refers to as a friend. Palau recounted how Bergoglio would not only relax and "drink "mate" with that friend, but would also read the Bible and pray with him, based on what Bergoglio called a relationship of friendship and trust. Palau described Bergoglio's approach to relationships with Evangelicals as one of "building bridges and showing respect, knowing the differences, but majoring on what we can agree on: on the divinity of Jesus, his virgin birth, his resurrection, the second coming." As a result of Bergoglio's election, Palau predicted that "tensions will be eased."
Juan Pablo Bongarrá, president of the Argentine Bible Society, recounted that Bergoglio not only met with Evangelicals and prayed with them, he also asked them to pray for him. Bongarrá noted that Bergoglio would frequently end a conversation with the request, "Pastor, pray for me." Additionally, Bongarrá told the story of a weekly worship meeting of charismatic pastors in Buenos Aires, which Bergoglio attended: "He mounted the platform and called for pastors to pray for him. He knelt in front of nearly 6,000 people, and [the Protestant leaders there] laid hands and prayed."
Other Evangelical Christian leaders agreed that Bergoglio's relationships in Argentina made him "situated to better understand Protestantism" than had his predecessor Pope Benedict, "who often referred to Protestantism as a 'sect' of Christianity". Noting that the divide between Catholicism and Protestantism is often present among members of the same families in Argentina, and is therefore an extremely important human issue, Evangelical author Chris Castaldo said that Francis could set the tone for more compassionate conversations among families about the differences between Protestantism and Catholicism.
Bergoglio has written about his commitment to open and respectful interfaith dialogue as a way for all parties engaged in that dialogue to learn from one another. In the 2011 book that records his conversations with Rabbi "Abraham Skorka, "On Heaven and Earth, Bergoglio said:
Dialogue is born from an attitude of respect for the other person, from a conviction that the other person has something good to say. It assumes that there is room in the heart for the person's point of view, opinion, and proposal. Dialogue entails a cordial reception, not a prior condemnation. In order to dialogue it is necessary to know how to lower the defenses, open the doors of the house, and offer human warmth.
Religious leaders in Buenos Aires have mentioned that Bergoglio promoted interfaith ceremonies at the "Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral. For example, in November 2012 he brought leaders of the Jewish, Muslim, Evangelical, and Orthodox Christian faiths together to pray for a peaceful solution to the "Middle East conflicts. Rabbi "Alejandro Avruj praised Bergoglio's interest in interfaith dialogue and his commitment to mend religious divisions.
Shortly after his election, the pope called for more interreligious dialogue as a way of "building bridges" and establishing "true links of friendship between all people". He added that it was crucial "to intensify outreach to nonbelievers, so that the differences which divide and hurt us may never prevail". He said that his title of "pontiff" means "builder of bridges", and that it was his wish that "the dialogue between us should help to build bridges connecting all people, in such a way that everyone can see in the other not an enemy, not a rival, but a brother or sister to be welcomed and embraced."
On 24 May 2014, Pope Francis arrived in "Jordan, at the start of a tour of the Middle East, "aiming to boost ties with Muslims and Jews as well as easing an age-old rift within Christianity".
In a 2016 survey, Francis was viewed favourably by almost two thirds of Jews, as well as majorities of Protestants and the irreligious; minorities of Buddhists and Muslims had favourable views of him.
Bergoglio has close ties to the "Jewish community of Argentina, and attended "Rosh Hashanah (Jewish new year) services in 2007 at a synagogue in Buenos Aires. He told the Jewish congregation during his visit that he went to the synagogue to examine his heart, "like a pilgrim, together with you, my elder brothers". After the 1994 "AMIA bombing of a "Jewish Community Center that killed 85 people, Bergoglio was the first public figure to sign a petition condemning the attack and calling for justice. Jewish community leaders around the world noted that his words and actions "showed solidarity with the Jewish community" in the aftermath of this attack.
A former head of the "World Jewish Congress, "Israel Singer, reported that he worked with Bergoglio in the early 2000s, distributing aid to the poor as part of a joint Jewish–Catholic program called ""Tzedaká". Singer noted that he was impressed with Bergoglio's modesty, remembering that "if everyone sat in chairs with handles [arms], he would sit in the one without." Bergoglio also co-hosted a "Kristallnacht memorial ceremony at the "Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral in 2012, and joined a group of clerics from a number of different religions to light candles in a 2012 synagogue ceremony on the occasion of the Jewish festival of "Hanukkah.
Pope Francis blessed the cornerstone for the building of the museum devoted to "wartime Polish rescuers of Jews which is being built in the Polish village of "Markowa; where the family of "Józef and Wiktoria Ulma, who are now "Servants of God as the Vatican is studying their cause for sainthood, were shot by the Germans for hiding their Jewish neighbors.
"Abraham Skorka, the rector of the "Latin-American Rabbinical Seminary in Buenos Aires, and Bergoglio published their conversations on religious and philosophical subjects as Sobre el cielo y la tierra ("On Heaven and Earth). An editorial in "Israel's "Jerusalem Post notes that "Unlike John Paul II, who as a child had positive memories of the Jews of his native Poland but due to the Holocaust had no Jewish community to interact with in Poland as an adult, Pope Francis has maintained a sustained and very positive relationship with a living, breathing [Jewish] community in Buenos Aires."
One of the pope's first official actions was writing a letter to Rabbi "Riccardo Di Segni, the "Chief Rabbi of Rome, inviting him to the papal installation and sharing his hope of collaboration between the Catholic and Jewish communities. Addressing representatives of Jewish organizations and communities, Francis said that, "due to our common roots [a] Christian cannot be "anti-Semitic!"
"Muslim leaders in Buenos Aires welcomed the news of Bergoglio's election as pope, noting that he "always showed himself as a friend of the Islamic community", and a person whose position is "pro-dialogue". They praised Bergoglio's close ties with Muslim groups and noted his comments when Pope Benedict's 2006 "Regensburg lecture was interpreted by many as denigrating Islam. According to them, Bergoglio immediately distanced himself from Benedict's language and said that statements which provoked outrage with Muslims would "serve to destroy in 20 seconds the careful construction of a relationship with Islam that Pope John Paul II built over the last 20 years."
Bergoglio visited both a mosque and an Islamic school in Argentina; visits that the Director for the Diffusion of Islam, Sheik Mohsen Ali, called actions that strengthened the relationship between the Catholic and Islamic communities. Sumer Noufouri, Secretary General of the Islamic Center of the Argentine Republic (CIRA), added that for Muslims, Bergoglio's past actions make his election as pope a cause of "joy and expectation of strengthening dialogue between religions". Noufouri said that the relationship between CIRA and Bergoglio over the course of a decade had helped to build up Christian–Muslim dialogue in a way that was "really significant in the history of monotheistic relations in Argentina".
"Ahmed el-Tayeb, "Grand Imam of al-Azhar and president of Egypt's "Al-Azhar University, sent congratulations after the pope's election. Al-Tayeb had "broken off relations with the Vatican" during Benedict XVI's time as pope; his message of congratulations also included the request that "Islam asks for respect from the new pontiff".
Shortly after his election, in a meeting with ambassadors from the 180 countries accredited with the Holy See, Pope Francis called for more interreligious dialogue—"particularly with Islam". He also expressed gratitude that "so many civil and religious leaders from the Islamic world" had attended his installation Mass. An editorial in the Saudi Arabian paper "Saudi Gazette strongly welcomed the pope's call for increased interfaith dialogue, stressing that while the pope was "reiterating a position he has always maintained", his public call as pope for increased dialogue with Islam "comes as a breath of fresh air at a time when much of the Western world is experiencing a nasty outbreak of "Islamophobia".
In 2016, Pope Francis met with Ahmed el-Tayeb at the Vatican, the first meeting since 2000 between the Grand Imam of al-Azhar and the leader of the world's Catholics.
Attitudes about non-believers
Speaking to journalists and media employees on 16 March 2013, Pope Francis said he would bless them silently, "Given that many of you do not belong to the Catholic Church, and others are not believers." In his papal address on 20 March, he said the "attempt to eliminate God and the Divine from the horizon of humanity" resulted in violence, but described as well his feelings about nonbelievers: "[W]e also sense our closeness to all those men and women who, although not identifying themselves as followers of any religious tradition, are nonetheless searching for truth, goodness and beauty, the truth, goodness and beauty of God. They are our valued allies in the commitment to defending human dignity, in building a peaceful coexistence between peoples and in safeguarding and caring for creation."
Some atheists expressed hope that Francis would prove to be progressive on issues like poverty and social inequality, while others were more skeptical that he would be "interested in a partnership of equals". In May 2013, Francis said that all who do good can be "redeemed through Jesus, including atheists. Francis stated that God "has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! Even the atheists, Everyone!" Amid the controversy that ensued, "Carl E. Olson pointed out that Francis's words were fundamental Christian teaching dating back to the Apostle Paul and Fr. Dwight Longenecker wrote, "Unfortunately for those who wish to paint Pope Francis as a lovable liberal, in fact, the Pope is simply affirming certain truths that any somewhat knowledgable Catholic will uphold." A spokesman for the Vatican, Father "Thomas Rosica, issued an "explanatory note" that non-Catholics who "know" the Roman Catholic Church but do not convert "cannot be saved", and only those who "sincerely seek God…can attain eternal salvation". "Hendrik Hertzberg criticised Rosica in "The New Yorker magazine, and speculated that there may be major internal disagreement between supporters and opponents of "Vatican II in the Catholic Church.
In September 2013, Francis wrote an open letter to the founder of "La Repubblica newspaper, "Eugenio Scalfari, stating that non-believers would be forgiven by God if they followed their "consciences. Responding to a list of questions published in the paper by Scalfari, who is not a Roman Catholic, Francis wrote: "You ask me if the God of the Christians forgives those who don't believe and who don't seek the faith. I start by saying—and this is the fundamental thing—that God's mercy has no limits if you go to him with a sincere and contrite heart. The issue for those who do not believe in God is to obey their conscience. Sin, even for those who have no faith, exists when people disobey their conscience."
Role in international diplomacy
Pope Francis played a key role in the talks toward restoring "full diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba. The restoration was jointly announced by U.S. President "Barack Obama and Cuban President "Raúl Castro on Wednesday, 17 December 2014. The headline in the Los Angeles Times on 19 December 2014 was "Bridge to Cuba via Vatican," with the further lead "In a rare and crucial role, Pope Francis helped keep U.S. talks with Havana on track and guided final deal." The pope was a behind the scenes broker of the agreement, taking the role following "President Obama's request during his visit to the pope in March 2014. The success of the negotiations was credited to Francis because "as a religious leader with the confidence of both sides, he was able to convince the Obama and Castro administrations that the other side would live up to the deal". En route to the "United States for a visit in September 2015, the pope stopped in "Cuba. "The plan comes amid a breakthrough for which Francis has received much credit." The Cuba visit "seals that accomplishment, in which he served as a bridge between two erstwhile enemies". According to one expert on religion in Latin America, Mario Paredes, the pope's visit to Cuba is consistent with his aim to promote an understanding of the role of the Cuban Revolution and that of the Catholic Church. When Francis was archbishop of Buenos Aires he authored a text entitled "Dialogues Between John Paul II and Fidel Castro." John Paul was the first pope to visit Cuba. In May 2015, the pope met with Cuban leader Raúl Castro. After the meeting in "Vatican City on 10 May 2015, Castro said that he is considering returning to the "Roman Catholic Church. He said in a televised news conference, "I read all the speeches of the pope, his commentaries, and if the pope continues this way, I will go back to praying and go back to the [Roman Catholic] church. I am not joking." Castro said that when the pope comes, "I promise to go to all his Masses and with satisfaction".
In December 2014, Pope Francis declined to meet with the "14th Dalai Lama, the 1989 "Nobel Peace Prize laureate. According to a New York Times report, a Vatican spokesman said "Pope Francis obviously holds the Dalai Lama in very high regard, but he will not be meeting any of the Nobel [Peace] laureates." The last meeting between the Dalai Lama and a pope was with "Benedict XVI in 2006. In November 2015, Pope Francis met with that year's "Nobel Peace Prize laureates from Tunisia.
In May 2014, his visit to the "state of Israel was heavily publicized, where he delivered 13 speeches. However, "protests against his visit resulted in an alleged arson attempt at the "Dormition Abbey. The cave under the "Church of the Nativity caught fire the night after his visit.
In May 2015, Pope Francis welcomed Palestinian president "Mahmoud Abbas to the Vatican. Several media outlets reported that Francis praised Abbas as "an angel of peace", though his actual words were the following: "The angel of peace destroys the evil spirit of war. I thought about you: may you be an angel of peace." The Vatican signed a treaty recognizing the "state of Palestine. The Vatican issued statements concerning the hope that the peace talks could resume between Israel and Palestine. Abbas's visit was on the occasion of the canonization of two Palestinian nuns.
On 6 June 2015, Pope Francis visited "Sarajevo, the capital city of "Bosnia and Herzegovina. He urged peace during his time in the religiously diverse city, known as the "Jerusalem of Europe".
On 25 September 2015, Pope Francis addressed the United Nations in New York City.
On 16 April 2016, he visited, together with the "Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the "Archbishop Ieronimos II of Athens, the Mòria camp in the "Greek island of "Lesbos, to call the attention of the world to the refugee issue. There the three Christian leaders signed a joint declaration
Pope Francis has said he will visit Ireland in 2018, in what will be the first papal tour of the country since John Paul II's historic trip in 1979.
In January 2017, Pope Francis demanded the resignation of "Matthew Festing, the 79th "Prince and Grand Master of the "Sovereign Military Order of Malta. The Pope's demand came as a response to Festing and Cardinal "Raymond Leo Burke's firing of "Albrecht von Boeselager from his position in the Order of Malta. The Order is currently under Vatican control until another Prince is appointed.
Popular "mainstream media frequently portray Pope Francis either as a "progressive papal reformer or with "liberal, moderate values. The Vatican has claimed that Western news outlets often seek to portray his message with a less-doctrinal tone of papacy, in hopes of extrapolating his words to convey a more merciful and tolerant message. In the news media, both faithful and non-believers often refer to a "honeymoon" phase in which the Pope has changed the tone on Catholic doctrines and supposedly initiated "ecclesiastical reform in the Vatican. Media systems differ, too, not only in their coverage of Francis's stances but also in how individual events are portrayed. His 2015 trip to Cuba is a prime example. During this trip, American-based AP and British-based Reuters highlighted the religious aspect of the pope's journey while Prensa Latina, the official state media agency, depicted it as a diplomatic visit. American and British media were also more likely during this trip to show Francis interacting with regular Cubans compared to the official Cuban media, which showed Francis interacting with elites most often.
In December 2013, both "Time and "The Advocate magazines named the Pontiff as their "Person of the Year" in praise and hopes of reforming the "Roman Curia while hoping to change the Catholic Church's doctrine on various controversial issues. In addition, Esquire magazine named him as the "Best-dressed man" for 2013 for his simpler vestments often in tune with a modern simplistic design on sartorial fashion. "Rolling Stone magazine followed in January 2014 by making the Pontiff their featured front cover. "Fortune magazine also ranked Pope Francis as number one in their list of 50 greatest leaders. On 5 November 2014, he was ranked by "Forbes as the fourth "most powerful person in the world and was the only non-political figure in the top ranking. In December 2016, Francis yet made Forbes's list of "The World's Most Powerful People", ranking fifth.
In March 2013, a new song was dedicated to Francis and released in Brazilian Portuguese, European Portuguese, and Italian, titled Come Puoi ("How You Can"). Also in March, Pablo Buera, the mayor of "La Plata, Argentina, announced that the city had renamed a section of a street leading up to a local cathedral Papa Francisco. There are already efforts to name other streets after him, as well as a school where he studied as a child. A proposal to create a commemorative coin as a tribute to Pope Francis was made in Argentina's lower house on 28 November 2013. On the coins it would read, "Tribute from the Argentine People to Pope Francis." beneath his face. As of May 2013, sales of papal souvenirs, a sign of popularity, were up.
Pope Francis presided over his first joint public wedding ceremony in a Nuptial Mass for 20 couples from the Archdiocese of Rome on 14 September 2014, just a few weeks before the start of 5–19 October Extraordinary "Synod of Bishops on the Family.[i]
To date, there are two biographical films about Pope Francis: "Call Me Francesco (Italy, 2015), starring "Rodrigo de la Serna, and "Francis: Pray for me (Argentina, 2015), starring "Darío Grandinetti.
In 2016, while in Mexico, Pope Francis made international headlines for criticizing U.S. "Republican presidential candidate "Donald Trump. Francis said of "Donald Trump, "A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not the gospel." Trump responded saying "For a religious leader to question a person's faith is disgraceful." Father "Federico Lombardi defended the Pope's remarks, saying that they weren't by any means "a personal attack, nor an indication of who to vote for".
On 19 March 2016, Pope Francis became the first Pope to create an "Instagram account. He broke records after having gained over one million followers in under twelve hours of the account being up.
On 8 January 2017 at a ceremony commemorating the "Baptism of Jesus at the "Sistine Chapel in which twenty-eight infants were to be baptized, Pope Francis reiterated support for mothers to "breastfeed their children in public, even in sacred places.
Titles and styles
|Papal styles of
|"Reference style||"His Holiness|
|Spoken style||Your Holiness|
|Religious style||Holy Father|
The official "style of the Pope in English is His Holiness Pope Francis; in Latin, Franciscus, Episcopus Romae. Holy Father is another honorific often used for popes.
His full title, rarely used, is:
- "His Holiness Francis, "Bishop of Rome, "Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the "Prince of the Apostles, "Supreme "Pontiff of the Universal Church, "Primate of Italy, "Archbishop and Metropolitan of the "Roman "Province, "Sovereign of the "Vatican City State, "Servant of the servants of God.
The best-known title, that of "Pope", does not appear in the official list of titles, but is commonly used in the titles of documents, and appears, in abbreviated form, in their signatures as "PP." standing for Papa (Pope).
It is customary when referring to popes to translate the "regnal name into local languages. Thus he is Papa Franciscus in Latin (the official language of the Holy See), Papa Francesco in Italian (the language of the Vatican), Papa Francisco in his native Spanish, and Pope Francis in English.
As "Pope, representative of the "Holy See and "head of state of "Vatican City, Francis is "Grand Master of the following orders:
- "Holy See: "Supreme Order of Christ
- "Holy See: "Order of the Golden Spur
- "Holy See: "Order of Pius IX
- "Holy See: "Order of St. Gregory the Great
- "Holy See: "Order of St. Sylvester
- "Bolivia: Grand Collar of the "Order of the Condor of the Andes (9 July 2015)
- "Bolivia: Order of Merit "Father Luis Espinal Camps" (9 July 2015)
- "Poland: "Order of the Smile (26 April 2016)
- "Germany: "International Charlemagne Prize of "Aachen 2016
- "Person of the Year" by "People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (2015) for his request that all Catholics be kind to animals
Honorific eponyms and dedications
- "Philippines: The Pope Francis Center for the Poor—"Palo, Leyte (12 July 2015)
- "Ennio Morricone composed a Mass setting (Missa Papae Francisci) named after the Pope, for the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the restoration of the Jesuit order. The performance aired on "Rai 5 and was attended by former Italian President "Giorgio Napolitano and other dignitaries.
- The composer "Ludger Stühlmeyer dedicated his work Klangrede – Sonnengesang des "Franziskus, for choir (SATB) and instruments, to Pope Francis (Suae Sanctitati Papae Francisci dedicat.). First performance: Capella Mariana 4 October 2015.
In the "oratorio "Laudato si' by "Peter Reulein (music) written on a "libretto by "Helmut Schlegel "OFM, the figure of Pope Francis appears next to "Mary, "Francis of Assisi and "Clare of Assisi. In the oratorio, Pope Franziskus suggests a bridge from the crucifixion scene on "Golgotha to the suffering of the present. He emphasizes the female talent and the importance of the charism of women for church and society. The texts of the "encyclical "Laudato si' and "Evangelii gaudium were used. The motto of the "Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy also plays a central role. The oratorio was premiered on 6 November 2016 in the "Limburg Cathedral.
Coat of arms
|"Library resources about
|By Pope Francis|
- Bergoglio, Jorge (1982). Meditaciones para religiosos [Meditations for the Religious] (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: Diego de Torres. "OCLC 644781822.
- Bergoglio, Jorge (1992). Reflexiones en esperanza [Reflections of Hope] (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: Ediciones Universidad del Salvador. "OCLC 36380521.
- Bergoglio, Jorge (2003). Educar: exigencia y pasión: desafíos para educadores cristianos [To Educate: Exactingness and Passion: Challenges for Christian Educators] (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: Editorial Claretiana. "ISBN "9789505124572.
- Bergoglio, Jorge (2003). Ponerse la patria al hombro: memoria y camino de esperanza [Putting the Motherland on One's Shoulders: Memoir and Path of Hope] (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: Editorial Claretiana. "ISBN "9789505125111.
- Bergoglio, Jorge (2005). La nación por construir: utopía, pensamiento y compromiso: VIII Jornada de Pastoral Social [The Nation to Be Built: Utopia, Thought, and Commitment] (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: Editorial Claretiana. "ISBN "9789505125463.
- Bergoglio, Jorge (2006). Corrupción y pecado: algunas reflexiones en torno al tema de la corrupción [Corruption and Sin: Some Thoughts on Corruption] (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: Editorial Claretiana. "ISBN "9789505125722.
- Bergoglio, Jorge (2006). Sobre la acusación de sí mismo [On Self-Accusation, (or from the Italian, Humility: The Road towards God)] (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: Editorial Claretiana. "ISBN "978-950-512-549-4.
- Bergoglio, Jorge (2007). El verdadero poder es el servicio [True Power Is Service] (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: Editorial Claretiana. "OCLC 688511686.
- Bergoglio, Jorge (2009). Seminario: las deudas sociales de nuestro tiempo: la deuda social según la doctrina de la iglesia [Seminar: the Social Debts of Our Time: Social Debt According to Church Doctrine] (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: EPOCA-USAL. "ISBN "9788493741235.
- Bergoglio, Jorge; "Skorka, Abraham (2010). "Sobre el cielo y la tierra [On Heaven and Earth] (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: Editorial Sudamericana. "ISBN "9789500732932.; Bergoglio, Jorge; "Skorka, Abraham (2013). On Heaven and Earth: Pope Francis on Faith, Family, and the Church in the Twenty-First Century. New York: Random House. "ISBN "978-0770435066.
- Bergoglio, Jorge (2010). Seminario Internacional: consenso para el desarrollo: reflexiones sobre solidaridad y desarrollo [International seminar: Consensus about Development: Reflexions on Solidarity and development] (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: EPOCA. "ISBN "9789875073524.
- Bergoglio, Jorge (2011). Nosotros como ciudadanos, nosotros como pueblo: hacia un bicentenario en justicia y solidaridad [Ourselves as Citizens, Ourselves as a People: towards a Bicentenary in Justice and Solidarity] (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: Editorial Claretiana. "ISBN "9789505127443.
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- Pope Francis (2015). Praise Be To You – Laudato Si'; On Care for Our Common Home. San Francisco: Ignatius Press. "ISBN "978-1621640813.
- Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia on Love in the Family ("The Joy of Love"), published 8 April 2016
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- Bergoglio, Jorge (2007). "Buscar el camino hacia el futuro, llevando consigo la memoria de las raíces". "Humanitas (in Spanish). "National Humanities Institute (47): 468–483. "OCLC 176911626.
- Castiñeira de Dios, José María (2007). El santito Ceferino Namuncurá: relato en verso (in Spanish). Foreword by Jorge Bergoglio. Buenos Aires: Lumen. "ISBN "9789870007340.
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- Official Vatican transcript in English of IEC Catechesis The Eucharist: Gift from God for the life of the world (2008) (originally given in Spanish), 49th International Eucharistic Congress, Quebec, Canada
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"Wake Up! was released on 27 November 2015 by the label Believe Digital and contains speeches by Pope Francis and accompanying music, including rock music.
- "List of pastoral visits of Pope Francis outside Italy
- "List of current Christian leaders
- "List of current heads of state and government
- "List of popes
- Press reports have provided a variety of translations for the phrase. According to "Vatican Radio: "Pope Francis has chosen the motto Miserando atque eligendo, meaning lowly but chosen; literally in Latin by having mercy, by choosing him. The motto is one Francis used as bishop. It is taken from the homilies of the "Venerable Bede on "Saint Matthew's Gospel relating to his vocation: 'Jesus saw the tax collector and by having mercy chose him as an apostle saying to him: Follow me.'"
- Pronunciation: "[ˈxo̞ɾxe ˈmaɾjo β̞e̞ɾˈɣ̞oɣ̞ljo̞] (Spanish), "[berˈɡɔʎʎo] (Italian)
- This devotion has since spread to Brazil; it "attracts people with small problems". Bergoglio had an image of Mary Untier of Knots inscribed on a chalice he presented to Pope Benedict XVI in 2005.
- "Pope John Paul I, elected in 1978, took a new combination of already used names, in honor of his two immediate predecessors, "John XXIII and "Paul VI.
- italics added to refer to English translation of the Latin motto
- Both in the "Eastern Catholic Churches and in the "Eastern Orthodox Churches, married men can be ordained to the priesthood, but priests cannot marry after having been ordained. See Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, canon 795
- One source says that the "gospel was chanted in Greek during the pope's inauguration Mass in recognition of Bartholomew's historic attendance, but the Vatican News Service paraphrased "Federico Lombardi of the Vatican Press Office as explaining that "[t]he Gospel will be proclaimed in Greek, as at the highest solemnities, to show that the universal Church is made up of the great traditions of the East and the West." (emphasis added)
- 31 October 2016 is the 499th anniversary of the start of the Reformation.
- "Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI did not do this during his eight-year reign from 2005–2013; his predecessor, "Pope John Paul II, married a group of couples from all over the world in 2000, as part of the Jubilee for Families, and before that in 1994 during the Church's Year of the Family, as well as presiding over a number of private marriages as Pope. All three conducted wedding ceremonies as cardinals.
This section is very long. You can click "here to skip it.
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...einige Monate in Sankt Georgen verbrachte, um sich mit einzelnen Professoren über ein Dissertationsprojekt zu beraten. Zu einem Abschluss in Sankt Georgen ist es nicht gekommen.
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Luro talked to me at length about her friend, of whom she has the highest opinion, and told me how she would write to him almost weekly, and he would always reply by ringing her up and having a short chat. When Podesta was dying, Bergoglio was the only Catholic cleric who went to visit him in hospital, and, when he died, the only one who showed public recognition of his great contribution to the Argentinian church.
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Bergoglio—who ran Argentina's Jesuit order during the dictatorship—told Rubin that he regularly hid people on church property during the dictatorship, and once gave his identity papers to a man with similar features, enabling him to escape across the border.
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both men were freed after Bergoglio took extraordinary, behind-the-scenes action to save them—including persuading dictator Jorge Videla's family priest to call in sick so that he could say Mass in the junta leader's home, where he privately appealed for mercy.
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Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum; habemus Papam: Eminentissimum ac Reverendissimum Dominum, Dominum Georgium MariumSanctae Romanae Ecclesiae Cardinalem Bergoglio qui sibi nomen imposuit Franciscum
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It was so hard to sell anything under Benedict. This pope attracts huge crowds, and they all want to bring back home something with his smiling face on it.
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The option for the poor comes from the first centuries of Christianity. It's the Gospel itself. If you were to read one of the sermons of the first "fathers of the Church, from the second or third centuries, about how you should treat the poor, you'd say it was "Maoist or "Trotskyist. The Church has always had the honor of this preferential option for the poor.… At the Second Vatican Council the Church was redefined as the People of God and this idea really took off at the Second Conference of the Latin-American bishops in Medellín.
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After walking across the threshold of the "Holy Door with an Orthodox metropolitan and an Anglican archbishop, Pope Francis invoked God's mercy upon divided Christians and apologized for times that Catholics may have hurt members of other denominations. "As bishop of Rome and pastor of the Catholic Church, I want to beg for mercy and forgiveness for un-Gospel-like behavior on the part of Catholics against Christians of other churches," the pope said Jan. 25 at a prayer service concluding the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. "We ask most of all for forgiveness for the sin of our divisions, which are an open wound on the body of Christ," Pope Francis said. "At the same time, I ask all my Catholic brothers and sisters to forgive if, today or in the past, they were hurt by other Christians," he said. "We cannot erase what happened, but we do not want to allow the burden of past faults to continue to poison our relationships."
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If he indeed 'rocked' the minds of some Catholics, it only suggests that they aren't paying attention to Scripture and Church teaching.
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[Francis] explains that it does no good to exclude and scapegoat atheists or other non believers. Instead they too should be expected to do good and that is where we encounter them and the dialogue begins. This is too much for some, and the Pope is being accused of "Pelagianism and "Universalism. (Salvation by works and 'Everyone will be saved.')
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- Examples include:
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- Willey, David (2015). The Promise of Francis: The Man, the Pope, and the Challenge of Change. New York: Simon & Schuster. "ISBN "978-1476789057.
|White smoke after election|
- Vatican: the Holy See – Vatican web site (Archived 13 March 2013 at "WebCite)
- Pope Francis on "Twitter (Official Twitter account)
- Pope Francis on "Instagram (Official Instagram account)
- on " 's channelYouTube (Official Vatican YouTube page, covering the Pope and related interests)
- Pope Francis at "DMOZ
- Appearances on "C-SPAN
|"Catholic Church titles|
|"Archbishop of Buenos Aires
"Mario Aurelio Poli
13 March 2013 – present