Features Features > Pope at 80: A shepherd clearly steering the flock

08 December 2016 | by Christopher Lamb

Pope at 80: A shepherd clearly steering the flock Premium

Share this story   

 

A milestone birthday is approaching for Pope Francis. The focus of his pontificate has been that other milestone – the Second Vatican Council – and implementing its key principles

When Pope Francis celebrates his 80th birthday next Saturday it will be a moment to reflect on his action-packed journey of a papacy, so often defined by his personal charisma and spontaneous gestures.

But his leadership of the Church is far more than just about him: it is a papacy that continues the legacy of the Second Vatican Council, contemporary Catholicism’s defining moment.

That event, which concluded just over 50 years ago, set the Church on a path of reform and unprecedented engagement with the modern world; one where condemnation was replaced with listening and where those who fall short of church teaching are offered the “medicine of mercy”.

It is this path that Francis is continuing on, and it is a direction of travel that ensures he leaves a legacy: it prevents this papacy ending up like a wonderful fireworks display lighting up the sky but after which the Church goes back to business as usual.
This is what his critics want.





Subscriptions

Subscribe to The Tablet from just £7.99 for 30 days
3 options available
Subscribe


Share this story

Article List




Latest Issue
Digital/PDF Version

PDF version (iPad-friendly)

Previous Issues
Tablet Subscription

Manage my subcription here

Manage
Top