Pope Francis has a new interview out in America Magazine, and it is absolutely fascinating. I’m in the middle of it right now. While reading, I was hit by a bit of a revelation.
I think I understand a little bit more why Pope Francis hasn’t become the Pope “we” wanted, the traditionalist Pope who is going to condemn abortion and gay marriage from the mountaintops and bring back the Latin Mass to full prominence. It is simple: We look at things from an American, really European, perspective. But Pope Francis is not an American, or even a European, and the Church doesn’t exist in that vacuum. The Church is worldwide.
I think the point he’s making is that even abortion is secondary to conversion, to bringing hearts back to God. And he’s right, though a lot of conservatives don’t want to hear it. When you read some of his quotes you get the impression that he wants to expand the Church to be a worldwide Church, one that doesn’t just exist in Europe and America, and one that concerns itself with all people. It’s difficult to look out of our bubble, though.
And finally, the Holy Father comes off as quite the intellectual in the interview. If anybody thought that Pope Francis was “simple” in mind as well as in habit this interview would do well to disabuse them of that notion. The Holy Father puts a lot of thought into what he does and says, and he knows his theology and his history. It’s fascinating stuff, highly recommended.