Pope Francis

The Legacy of 2013

At this time of hope for what the new year may bring, it would be useful to look at the legacy we carry with us from the year we leave behind. It was a year full of events - wars, rising social inequality, unchecked finance, the decline of political institutions, and the erosion of global governance.

Pope Francis: Revolution or Changing to Stay the Same?

“The rivalry between our countries is over: if the pope is Argentine then God is Brazilian,” Francis joked when journalists asked him why he was so beloved in this country, where millions came out to see him, despite the historic football rivalry between South America’s two giants.

Pope Opens Unprecedented Dialogue with Afro-Brazilian Religions

At odds since colonial times, Catholicism and Afro-Brazilian religions have embarked on a process of mutual acceptance. Pope Francis added words and gestures to this reconciliation of two groups that share a common interest: confronting the growth of evangelical and neo-Pentecostal churches.

Pope Runs into Logistical Chaos in Rio

Pope Francis' first overseas trip, to Brazil, the country with the largest number of Catholics in the world, was marked with setbacks, disorganisation and lack of infrastructure for an event that brought half a million pilgrims to the city of Rio de Janeiro.

Q&A: “Pope Francis Will Have to Open Up Church Debate on Burning Issues”

The Catholic Church has become sclerotic and is afraid of facing the issues of post-modernity, Brazilian theologian Frei Betto says, although he hopes that Francis, the first Latin American pope, will inspire it to renew its emphasis on social issues and the defence of the poor.

Pope Francis Takes Over Sexophobic Church

Jorge Bergoglio begins his papacy as Francis I facing the challenge of a Catholic Church caught up in a burdensome contradiction with modern society, because of its negative attitude to sexuality and women.

Pope Francis Raises Hopes for an Ecological Church

The new pope’s choice of the name Francis, to honour the Catholic Church’s patron saint of animals and the environment, has awakened the hopes of ecologists and others who are concerned about rampant consumerism and the deterioration of the planet.

Q&A “What Matters Isn’t Bergoglio and His Past, but Francis and His Future”

Brazilian theologian Leonardo Boff, a leading exponent of liberation theology, the progressive current in the Latin American Catholic Church, does not believe reports that depict the new Pope Francis as collaborating with Argentina’s 1976-1983 dictatorship.

Catholics in Argentina Protest Church’s Complicity in Dictatorship

Argentine archbishop Jorge Bergoglio was selected as pope at a time when the Roman Catholic Church in this South American country is facing a rebellion by priests and laypersons who reject the role of the church leadership during the 1976-1983 dictatorship and the lack of reparations for past omissions and complicities.

Hints of Changes to Come in Rome

No one would expect a Pope elected by an extremely conservative conclave to implement revolutionary reforms within the Catholic Church. Still, many see in the newly elected Pope Francis some signs of change.

Latin American Breeze to Sweep Vatican

The selection of a Latin American pope, who is known for his austere lifestyle and his work with the poor, has created a stir among Catholics in the region, who are confident that Pope Francis will help bolster the Vatican’s tarnished reputation.