Notable quakes detected in the ancient encrusted corridors of the Vatican.
We haven’t been exactly spoiled by displays of compassion and attempts to modernise the Church by the two previous popes, John Paul II and Benedict XVI (ret.), who ruled conservatively for more than 34 years. But now there are not only touching photographs showing Pope Francis being intensely popular, mingling with the masses, closely hugging disfigured people and, as another example, a video showing him with a stray child walking in on one of his speeches – he is now calling for power in the Catholic Church to be devolved away from the Vatican.
This unprecedented move which he laid out in the first major work he has written is causing ripples in the stiffened fabric of the papacy. And he is moving fast, having named eight cardinals to form an advisory council due to already having their second plenary meeting next week.
As reported by David Willey from the BBC on 26.11.2013, “Pope Francis says that ties with Islam have taken on great importance for the Catholic Church because of the growing number of Muslim immigrants now residing in many traditionally Catholic countries. ‘We Christians,’ he says, ‘should embrace Muslims with affection and respect in the same way that we hope and ask to be respected in countries of Islamic tradition.’
“In his ‘apostolic exhortation’, Pope Francis said he preferred a Church that was ‘bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security.’”
Surprisingly even the issue of abortion has been mentioned in spite of the Church’s general opposition: “…it is also true that we have done little to adequately accompany women in very difficult situations… especially when the life developing within them is the result of rape or a situation of extreme poverty… Who can remain unmoved before such painful situations?” Pope Francis asks.
Also, an unparalleled survey of the views of lay Catholics on modern family life and sexual ethics is being conducted while the opposition to the ordination of female priests remains an untouchable doctrine.
May the cracks in the foundation of the Holy Sea result in a tsunami of change and light….