View From Rome
20 December 2017
View from Rome
ONE CRITICISM levelled against Pope Francis is the claim that he is too “political” and should spend more time on doctrine than diplomacy. Geo-politics, Francis’ sceptics argue, should play second fiddle to the Bishop of Rome’s primary task of defending the Magisterium.
It would be a mistake, however, to assume the Jesuit Pope enjoys striding across the world stage as a sort of religious alternative to the Secretary General of the United Nations. This comes through loud and clear in the recently released transcripts from two question and answer sessions he held with members of the Society of Jesus during his trip to Myanmar and Bangladesh, which reveal how Francis is fusing the missionary spirit of St Ignatius with the universal ministry of the papacy. Twice he cites as a guide St Peter Claver, a Spanish Jesuit renowned for his work with slaves.
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