Friday, September 20, 2013

People Talking: A Gathering of Commentary about Pope Francis's Jesuit Interview

There's been a wealth of commentary in the past two days about Pope Francis's Jesuit interview. As a service to readers, I thought I'd list articles I've read that may be of interest to readers of Bilgrimage. I don't by any means pretend to be compiling a comprehensive summary of commentary here. These are simply the pieces that have caught my eye or been shared with me by friends (with significant excerpts in some cases). In some cases, links are repeated under other subheadings:

Links to Links

The following provide a gathering of links to commentary on Francis's interview:

Michael Bayly, The Wild Reed, "Quote of the Day"

Kevin Clarke, America, "The Popepourri!"

Dominic Preziosi, Commonweal, "Papal Interview: Web Reaction Roundup"

General Commentary

Scott Alessi, U.S. Catholic, Are Abortion and Gay Marriage the Only Issues for Catholics? Not According to Pope Francis"

David Badash, New Civil Rights Movement, "Pope Francis: Catholic Church’s Obsession With Gay Marriage, Abortion Could Be Its Downfall"

Catholics United, "PRESS RELEASE: Pope to Right-Wingers: I’m Not One of You"

For too long, right-wing activists have distorted and co-opted Catholic teaching to suit their agendas. Pope Francis put a stop to that today (citing James Salt).

Tara Culp-Resser, Think Progress, "Pope Francis: Catholic Church Is Too 'Obsessed' With Abortion, Birth Control, And Gay Marriage"

Laurie Goodstein, New York Times, "Pope Says Church Is 'Obsessed' With Gays, Abortion and Birth Control"

Eric Marapodi and Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog, "Pope Francis: Church Can't 'Interfere' with Gays"

James Martin, CNN Belief Blog, "New Interview Shows Why the Pope Is So Beloved"

Peter Montgomery, Religion Dispatches, "Pope Francis Distances Himself Further from the Right in New Interview"

Paul Brandeish Rausenbush, Huffington Post, "Pope Francis Moves Church Beyond Gays and Abortion -- To People"

Ian Reifowitz, Daily Kos, "STUNNER from Pope: Church Should Stop Being 'Obsessed' with Abortion, Gay marriage and Contraception"

This is a tremendous shift from the two most recent popes, and especially from Francis's predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI .

Andrew Sullivan, The Dish, "This Extraordinary Pope, Ctd" 

Well, if the theocons hadn’t got the message by now, they can only blame themselves. The new interview with Pope Francis is a revelation.

General Theological Commentary

Amanda Osheim, Daily Theology, "The Discerning Pope"

Thomas Reese, National Catholic Reporter, "A Jesuit Reflects on the Jesuit Pope's Interview by Jesuits"

Frank Strong, Letters to the Catholic Right, "Pope Francis Does It Again"

Andrew Sullivan, The Dish, "The Rebirth Of Catholicism"

Terry Weldon, Queering the Church, "Pope Francis, on Why and How the Church Must Change"

Gay-Interest Responses

The following is commentary that focuses on what Francis has to say in his interview about the church and gay folks:

Francis DeBernardo, Bondings, "Pope Francis’ Welcome Signals a New Dawn of Hope for LGBT People and Allies"

Chad Griffin, HRC Blog, "Pope Francis Presses 'Reset Button' on Decades of Hateful and Hurtful Anti-LGBT Vitriol"

With these latest comments, Pope Francis has pressed the reset button on the Roman Catholic Church’s treatment of LGBT people, rolling back a years-long campaign at the highest levels of the Church to oppose any measure of dignity or equality.

Thomas C. Fox, National Catholic Reporter, "Francis' Words Like 'Rain on a Parched Land'"

Eric Marapodi and Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog, "Pope Francis: Church Can't 'Interfere' with Gays"

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Blog, "Faith Leaders Respond to Pope Francis Comments on LGBT People"

Michelangelo Signorile, Huffington Post, "Pope Francis Comes Out of the Closet: 'I Have Never Been a Right-Winger'"

[I]n saying "I have never been a right-winger" in the same interview in which he's criticizing the church for being too "obsessed" with gay marriage and abortion, Francis is hitting at those Catholic leaders who use gay rights and abortion to wield political power, putting them on notice.

What Francis Says about Women in the Church

The following is commentary focusing on one of the most important discussions the interview has generated (and I'll write more about this in the near future)--about the place of women in the Catholic church today:

Bridget Mary Meehan, Bridget Mary's Blog, "Women Priests Respond to Pope Francis' Interview with Anthony Spadaro, SJ in America/Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests,"

Women's human rights, including spiritual authority, is the elephant in the living room of the Roman Catholic Church! It is our pastoral responsibility to make the connections between oppression of women within the church and violence toward women and their children in the world. 

Katie McDonough, Salon, "'Best Pope Ever': Still Pretty Awful!"

Francis may be better than the old pope, but what does that actually make him? A religious leader who has said some great things about equality and acceptance — but who appears quite content to leave the actual, structural barriers to achieving those goals firmly in place.

Amanda Osheim, Daily Theology, "The Discerning Pope"

[I]t seems more discernment based on the diverse contexts and experiences of women is needed. 

Crystal Watson, Perspective, "Francis's Interview"

It's unjust to treat women and men as if they were ontologically different in the eyes of God - why doesn't Francis see this?

Mollie Wilson-O'Reilly, Commonweal, "Pope Francis: The Church Needs Women in Authority"

And for Fun (Because, God Knows, We Need It)

Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker, "Scalia Forms Search Committee for New Pope"

Saying he was "sorry it had to come to this," Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said today that he was forming an "independent search committee" to select a new Pope.

Hope I don't need to search for an irony-alert sign for that last link, and that readers will know this is a delightful send-up.

The graphic: an illustration of a 19th-century telephone, from the Swedish publication The Key to Science, at Wikimedia Commons.

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