The pontificate of Pope Francis renewed the focus on pastoral theology, placing the ideas of the post-conciliar Church in Latin America at the center of the universal Church. She placed concern for the environment at the heart of the social teachings of the Church and reoriented the work of the Roman Curia, as embodied in the apostolic constitution Evangelium Predicate. She emphasized the church as a bearer of God’s tenderness, rather than a bastion of doctrinal clarity. And, perhaps most importantly, he revived synodality as a means of church governance.
All of these have one thing in common: they are necessitated not only by the collapse of modern, post-modern, and post-post-modern cultural critiques or by the spiritual decay of clericalism, as the abuse crisis has revealed. sex of the clergy. A functional rationale for these new approaches – one that was fully exposed at the consistory of August 27 — is the globalization of the Catholic Church.
Francis recognized this globalization in his address to new cardinals. “Dear brothers and sisters, let us contemplate Jesus once more,” the pope said. “He alone knows the secret of this modest grandeur, this unpretentious power, this universal vision always attentive to detail.” Globalization must never become homogenization.
Nor is globalization the same thing as multiculturalism. The vision is universal, built around a shared relationship with the Lord and a common heritage of apostolic tradition. The goal is a shared communion, evident in the ease with which the new cardinals mingled with each other and with the other cardinals who had come for the ceremony.
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Michael Sean Winters covers the link between religion and politics for NCR.
With our thanks to National Catholic Reporter (NCR) and Michael Sean Winters, where this article originally appeared.