Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 27th 2013 Contents B4
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, November 27, 2013
From the outset, Pope Francis was determined to run the Church with a more
"common" touch and his actions show he is willing to take into account the views
of the wider congregation. AP PHOTO
Pope Francis has called for power
in the Catholic Church to be devolved
away from the Vatican, in the first
major work he has written in the role.
In the document, he says he is open
to suggestions to changes in the power
of the papacy.
He also warns that rising global eco-
nomic inequality is bound to explode
Since becoming Pope in March, Fran-
cis has struck a markedly different tone
to his predecessor on several issues.
In his "apostolic exhortation," Pope
Francis said he preferred a Church that
was "bruised, hurting and dirty because
it has been out on the streets, rather
than a Church which is unhealthy from
being confined and from clinging to its
The document suggests major
changes are on the way, with Francis
noting that the Church has to get over
an attitude that says: "We have always
done it this way," the BBC s David Wil-
ley reports from Rome.
It represents an ambitious pro-
gramme to try to rekindle his church s
missionary zeal, our correspondent
However, the document reiterates
the Church s opposition to the ordi-
nation of female priests, saying this is
"not a question open to discussion."
The document also touches on inter-
faith relations, urging Christians to
"embrace with affection and respect
Muslim immigrants to our countries
in the same way that we hope and ask
to be received and respected in countries
of Islamic tradition."
Last month Pope Francis held his
first meeting with a special group of
cardinals to consider ways to reform
the Vatican bureaucracy after saying in
a newspaper interview that the Vatican
had become too self-interested and
needed to be inclusive.
"Excessive centralisation, rather than
proving helpful, complicates the
Church s life and her missionary out-
reach," he says in the latest document.
He also says he does not believe that
the papacy "should be expected to offer
a definitive or complete word on every
question which affects the Church and
This month the Vatican launched an
unprecedented survey of the views of
lay Catholics on modern family life and
The document does restate the
Church s opposition to abortion but
concedes that "it is also true that we
have done little to adequately accom-
pany women in very difficult situa-
tions,... especially when the life devel-
oping within them is the result of rape
or a situation of extreme poverty."
"Who can remain unmoved before
such painful situations?" he asks.
Pope Francis also expands on his
concerns about economic inequality.
"Today we also have to say thou
shalt not to an economy of exclusion
and inequality. Such an economy kills,"
he says, going on to castigate the "new
idolatry of money."
"I beg the Lord to grant us more
politicians who are genuinely disturbed
by the state of society, the people, the
lives of the poor!" he goes on. (BBC)
Pope calls for power to move away from Vatican
I beg the Lord to grant us more
politicians who are genuinely
disturbed by the state of
The new document did not address some of
the key ethical reforms called for by Catholic
progressives and ruled out any change in the
Church's teaching on abortion or the exclusion
of women from the priesthood.
However, the Pope has already set up an
advisory council of eight cardinals who are due
to gather in Rome for their second plenary
meeting next week.
He has also set up new mechanisms for
reform of the Vatican bureaucracy. the main
thrust of Pope Francis' pontificate, as outlined
in this document and in his many homilies, is
that he wants to see a less Vatican-centred
Church whose greatest concern is for the poor
and the marginalised, victims of an unjust
global economic system that puts profit before
In addition, Pope Francis says that ties with
Islam have taken on great importance for the
Catholic Church because of the growing
number of Muslim immigrants now residing in
many traditionally Catholic countries.
"We Christians," he says, "should embrace
Muslims with affection and respect in the
same way that we hope and ask to be
respected in countries of Islamic tradition."
Analysis by the BBC's David Willey
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