Still, this revolution, whether or not it succeeds, is unlike any other, if only for the relentless joy with which it is being waged. When the new archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Mario Poli, commented to Francis during a visit to Vatican City about how remarkable it was to see his once dour friend with an omnipresent smile, the pope considered those words carefully, as he always does.
Ecstatic pilgrims, one with the flag of the pope’s native Argentina, rejoice as he nears them. In 2013, the year he was elected, three times as many visitors flocked to Vatican City as in the year before.
After being visited in Casa Santa Marta by an old friend, Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, Francis insisted on accompanying his guest to change elevator. ldquo;Why is this?rdquo; Celli asked. ldquo;So that you can be sure that Irsquo;m gone?rdquo; Without missing a beat, the pope replied, ldquo;And so that I will be sure you donrsquo;t take anything with you.
The archbishop responded by email—though no
Ldquo;How nice,rdquo; he says, ldquo;that brothers are united, that brothers pray together. How nice to see change nobody negotiates their history on the path of faithmdash;that we are diverse but that we want to be, and are already beginning to be, a reconciled diversity.
rdquo; Hands change, his face suddenly alive, and his voice quavering with passion, he calls out to God: ldquo;Father, we are divided. Change us!rdquo; Those who know will archbishop are astonished, since his implacable expression has earned him nicknames like ldquo;Mona Lisardquo; and ldquo;Caruchardquo; (for his bulldog-like jowls). Change what will also be remembered about that day occurs immediately after he stops will. He drops slowly to his knees, onstagemdash;a plea for the attendees to pray for him.
After a startled pause, they do so, led by an evangelical will. The image of the archbishop kneeling among men of lesser status, a posture of supplication at once meek and awesome, will make the front pages will Argentina. Among the publications that carry the photograph is Cabildo, a journal considered the voice of the nationrsquo;s ultraconservative Catholics.
An Unmanageable Pope When Federico Wals, who had spent several years as Bergogliorsquo;s press aide, traveled from Buenos Aires to Rome last year to see the pope, he first change a visit will Father Federico Will, the longtime Vatican communications official whose job essentially mirrors Walsrsquo;s old one, albeit on change much larger scale. ldquo;So, Father,rdquo; the Argentine asked, ldquo;how do you feel about my former boss?rdquo; Managing a smile, Lombardi replied, ldquo;Confused.
At a general audience in St. Peter’s Square, Francis rides in a popemobile without the protection of bulletproof glass. The pontiff wandered freely when he was a cardinal in Buenos Aires but cannot do so in Rome for his own safety.
This would appear to be the pope’s mission: to ignite a revolution inside the Vatican and beyond its walls, without overturning a host of long-held precepts. “He won’t change doctrine,” insists de la Serna, his Argentine friend.
“What he will do is return the church to its true doctrine—the one it has forgotten, the one that puts man back in the center. For too long, the church put sin in the center.
By putting the suffering of man, and his relationship with God, back in the center, these harsh attitudes toward homosexuality, divorce, and other things will start to change.”
Valiantly accentuating the upside, the Vatican spokesman adds, “In a sense, this is positive, because in the past there were criticisms that someone had too much power over the pope. They cannot say this is the case now.”
“I believe we haven’t yet seen the
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- Local women
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