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Should Protestant Progressives Care What the Pope Says?

September 20, 2013

The short answer to “Should progressives care?” is “Yes!”


What the Pope, especially this Pope, says (backed by what he consistently does) is quite influential. Organizations, churches included, tend to take on the characteristics, the priorities, the style of whoever is at the top.  Pope Francis is a surprising and refreshing change… one I’d not seen coming, nor would have at all expected.  His honesty and determination to face human realities is remarkable for a person in his position.  He doesn’t seem to lack for courage either!


emblem of the Papacy: Triple tiara and keys Fr...

emblem of the Papacy: Triple tiara and keys Français : emblème pontifical Italiano: emblema del Papato Português: Emblema papal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Now, I’ve never been Catholic and don’t follow that branch of Christianity nearly as closely as I do the Protestant branch.  But it’s pretty hard to miss that Francis is distinctly different, and bringing a different set of priorities, a new face of mercy, grace and humility to what is a tightly controlled, rigid bureaucracy (from my distant perspective).  


I haven’t read the full interview that’s been making the news the last couple days yet myself.  But I didn’t want to wait until it was “old news” to point you to one interesting article about it (of what I’m sure are many).  We all should read the full text of the original article, even as non-Catholics, if we care to understand what is happening in this large segment of the Christian world; things that influence culture, politics and individual lives.


Here is the link to the article I mentioned, by Frank Schaeffer, who knows the American religious and political landscape about as well as anyone I know. Naturally, he interprets the Pope’s comments in reference to the American scene particularly, and to key American political actors, although my understanding is that Francis was referring to the worldwide Church and the world’s situation.



What do you, as either a Catholic or non-Catholic, think of and feel about Pope Francis? What kind of influence do you expect him to have? 




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