Features

Pope at 80: A shepherd clearly steering the flock Premium

08 December 2016 | by Christopher Lamb

 

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.





Register for free articles a month or subscribe now from £53* for 6 months unlimited access to article content.
Subscribe now and enjoy access to all parts of the tablet website, Including its 175 year archive...
Subscribe


Article List


TABLET WORLD…
Latest Issue

Digital/PDF Version

PDF version (iPad-friendly)

Previous Issues
Latest Tweet
Most Read Articles

Iceland population with Down syndrome 'disappearing' as nearly 100 per cent abort Downs babies 18 August 2017 by Catholic News Service

Former Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, seriously ill in hospital21 August 2017 by Rose Gamble

Kenya bishops 'applaud' Odinga's decision to challenge election result in Supreme Court 21 August 2017 by Rose Gamble

A philosopher's dark secret: Nazism and theologyPremium16 August 2017 by Judith Wolfe

Surprised by joy: when Jean Vanier invited two men with handicaps to share his life, it transformed the former naval officerPremium16 August 2017 by Maggie Fergusson

A newly fertilised embryo is not, in any common sense view, a ‘person’ as you and IPremium17 August 2017 by Clifford Longley

Iceland population with Down syndrome 'disappearing' as nearly 100 per cent abort Downs babies 18 August 2017 by Catholic News Service

Former Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, seriously ill in hospital21 August 2017 by Rose Gamble

Kenya bishops 'applaud' Odinga's decision to challenge election result in Supreme Court 21 August 2017 by Rose Gamble

A philosopher's dark secret: Nazism and theologyPremium16 August 2017 by Judith Wolfe

Surprised by joy: when Jean Vanier invited two men with handicaps to share his life, it transformed the former naval officerPremium16 August 2017 by Maggie Fergusson

A newly fertilised embryo is not, in any common sense view, a ‘person’ as you and IPremium17 August 2017 by Clifford Longley

Share Us
Tablet Subscription

Manage my subcription here

Manage
Newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter

Sign Up
Top