pope francis

Pope Francis Defends Migrants in His Christmas Day Message

Philip Pullell

Francis, who has been scorned by populist politicians because of his defense of refugees and migrants, dedicated a section of his address to their plight. “It is injustice that makes them cross deserts and seas that become cemeteries. It is injustice that forces them to endure unspeakable forms of abuse, enslavement of every kind, and torture in inhumane detention camps,” Francis said. This month, Francis called for the closing of migrant detention camps in Libya.

How Pope Francis Forged an Unusual Path in the Church

Laura Storch

There seemed to be two main reactions when news broke that Pope Francis invited the dubbed Godmother of Punk, Patti Smith, to perform at the Vatican's Christmas Party. The first was a collective, "Who?" from those unfamiliar with the poet-singer. Those who are familiar with her seemed to be a bit puzzled as well but for different reasons. The first line many people heard Patti Smith sing came from her first LP, Horses, released in 1975. The opening track is a cover of Van Morrison's hit "Gloria." An eerie and gentle piano begins to play as Patti Smith calmly but defiantly utters "Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine." 

Pope Francis’ Gentle Revolution

Angelo Franco

Even with the incredible speed in which he has managed to shake believers and skeptics alike, Francis has generally observed an equally orthodox attitude towards Catholic teachings, albeit with a somewhat more broadmindedness that borders on the reformist by the standards of the Church as we know it.  From a decisively focused stand on interreligious relations to controversial claims about contraception and homosexuality to political opinions about the Maldives, Francis both kindles and quenches hope with reverberating strength, which helps capture his image as a highly influential game-changer. 

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