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February 20, 2014

Here is some Roman Catholic news worthy of note for everyone, Catholic, Protestant or non-Christian.

Pope_Francis_2013

I seldom post about things specifically Roman Catholic, as I have no personal background there and relatively little knowledge, despite significant study of Church History from its beginning.  But I like to follow at least major news and trends and this just popped into my “radar”.  Look here for an article from Pew Research Center explaining (with graphs) the appointment of Francis’ first set of new cardinals.

What is of significance is that there is a clear change in trend from earlier times, including that of Pope Benedict, as to where the cardinals are from.  Just 8 of Francis’ 19 new appointees are from Europe, and 6 are from Latin America and the Caribbean, home of 39% of the world’s Catholics.  So this seems, if nothing else, to make statistical sense.  

But it probably also signals a shift in attitudes and power balance between regions of the world… “globalization”, in a nutshell, and among other factors.  The election of Francis himself seems to indicate such a shifting.

What the implications of more non-Western power and/or representation will prove to be, I’m not sure.  Consonant with Francis’ own priorities, maybe more emphasis on service to the poor and needy, both among us and throughout the world? Maybe some return to simplicity in Catholics’ ways of following Jesus? Maybe, just maybe, a tiny bit of movement on equality of opportunity in gender roles, especially in official leadership?

What do you see?

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