01 October 2015, The Tablet

The Word made fresh

It was the Pope’s pastoral gestures to the sick, the poor and the homeless that will live long in the memories of Americans when they recall his visit to their shores. But he also delivered challenges to the Church, the country and the world Hotly anticipated papal visits are like unpredictable weather. In the run-up to Francis’ pilgrimage to the US storm clouds gathered: would the Argentinian Bishop of Rome, who had never visited the country, hector Americans about capitalism and consumerism? Would a Republican-dominated Congress give him a hostile reception if he called for action on climate change and a welcome for immigrants? Would Francis even be able to count on the support of his own bishops, some of whom confess to being “confused” by this p
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