the vatican

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.

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. 

How the Pope’s Resignation Will Affect Latin America’s 1 Billion Catholics

Mary Jo McConahay

Local bishops, not the pope, traditionally run church life and sometimes political life from Mexico to Argentina, but the reach of Pope Benedict XVI, who announced his retirement effective Feb. 28, has been unique. For decades, when Ratzinger’s shoe dropped, the tremor reverberated over Latin America, where half of the world’s 1 billion Catholics live. Amid speculation about who will be the next pope are suggestions that the time may have come for a Latin American prelate or someone from the global south. 

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