‘Jesus the Homeless’ in Rome

by Brian Flagg,

From reading the National Catholic Reporter for many years I have learned that Popes can write encyclicals and say many good things but who gets appointed Bishop or Cardinal is much more important.

In the most recent NCR, John Allen described how on December 18, Pope Francis “delivered a bombshell in the form of a shake-up at the Vatican’s all-important Congregation for Bishops, the office that is responsible for recommending bishops’ appointments to the pope.”  Allen said that

“All told, the overhaul arguably represents one of the more important reform moves by Francis, given that it shapes the criteria by which more than 5,000 Catholic bishops around the world will be chosen.”

And also from the magazine called The Week (Dec. 27, 2013), Pope dismisses U.S. cardinal:

“Pope Francis has demoted an ultraconservative U.S. cardinal who outspokenly disagreed with his attempts to focus the church less on issues like abortion and more on spreading the faith and caring for the poor. Cardinal Raymond Burke was removed from the body that helps choose bishops after giving an interview questioning the pope’s views. “He thinks we’re talking too much about abortion, too much about the integrity of marriage as between one man and one woman,” said Burke. “But we can never talk enough about that.” Burke, the former archbishop of St. Louis, is best known for saying in 2004 that he would deny communion to then – presidential candidate John Kerry because Kerry is pro-choice.”

So it seems that the Holy Father is not all talk, he puts his words into action!    

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