From Crux Staff     July 23, 2017

On the heels of one controversial Vatican article alleging an “ecumenism of hate” between conservative Evangelicals and Catholics in America, another potential eyebrow-raiser emerged Saturday claiming that the “main obstacle” to implementing Pope Francis’s vision is “closure, if not hostility” from “a good part of the clergy, at levels both high and low.”

The term “high and low” suggests the author had in mind clergy ranging from senior bishops to ordinary parish priests.  “The clergy is holding the people back, who should instead be accompanied in this extraordinary moment,” said the article by Italian Father Giulio Cirignano, a native of Florence and a longtime Scripture scholar at the Theological Faculty of Central Italy.

The Second Manchester Newman Lecture was given by Paul Vallely in a talk entitled Pope Francis-reform and resistance. An audience of about 60 enjoyed a superb lecture at the Friends Meeting House, Manchester. Paul Vallely outlined the opposition to actions and writings of Pope Francis. Critics called Evangelii Gaudium Marxist for its critique of capitalism and they told him to stop meddling with science when his landmark eco-encyclical Laudato Si’ was published. With the two synods on the family and the publication of Amoris Laetitia, Paul claimed that these actions amount to the first practical application of the Second Vatican Council’s call for a return to a more collegial church.  This Pope is no longer monarch but a bishop among bishops. As primus inter pares he does not judge (or fudge) but rather is content to nudge. With this document Francis has shown himself to be the first true Vatican II pontiff.

Towards a Church inspired by the Gospel for a world of peace, justice and solidarity.

 We, disciples of Jesus, faithful Catholic members of the people of God, assembled in Rome on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the close of the Second Vatican Council, aware of the many challenges posed by our changing world, being sensitive to the 'signs of the times', considering the present situation of our Church and its difficulties in meeting these challenges, conscious that any behaviour of Christians and of our Church contrary to the evangelical message diverts the world from the Spirit of Jesus and prevents it from recognizing the strength of the Gospel, recognizing our own weaknesses and deficiencies, but confident in the strength which faith in Jesus gives us and furthermore being responsive to the appeals made by Pope Francis, who is strengthening consultation processes in the Church, after praying to the Holy Spirit, in following Jesus and with the spirit of Vatican II and of the Pact of the Catacombs in mind, commit ourselves

   Council 50 is a project that gives an opportunity to all communities, groups, parishes and associations to share, on an equal footing, their vision for a 21st century Church inspired by the Gospel for the world, thereby responding to the calls of our Pope Francis.

    For over a year, the Pope Francis has made repeated calls to all members of our Church to ensure that she lives according to the Gospel, and to live in the spirit of Jesus in our complex world. It is precisely these initiatives and proposals of groups, associations, communities, parishes, often fruits of the seeds sown during the Council Vatican II, that Council 50 aims to collect and compile during the worldwide gathering of  delegates scheduled in Rome from November 20-22, 2015 to create the Charter of Council 50, which will be offered to the Pope during his jubilee celebration of the closing of Vatican II.

With his last book "Auslaufmodell - Where pope Francis drives the church?", Dr Paul Zulehner  proposes a pastoral theology essay with a collection of papal caricatures. Some of them are available on his website homepage :

 - Blast! Whenever he reads it, he always gets these ideas
- I don't like that!

- C’est à chaque fois qu’il lit ça, qu’il lui vient ces idées…
- Ouais, ça ne me plait pas !


From National Catholic reporter

Pope Francis is seeking to build a "new way of being church" for Roman Catholics in a similar way to how St. Francis of Assisi reported being told by God to repair the church during the 13th century, a cardinal who is one of the pontiff's closest advisers said.

"There is a new concept of church here" in how the pope is governing the Vatican, said Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, speaking April 8 in St. Petersburg, Fla. "There is a new way of thinking, including the way of governing in the church, here."

However, Rodríguez said, while Francis is popular among people around the world, he is facing opposition in the Roman Curia. "We have to be prepared, since this beautiful but strange popularity is beginning to strengthen adherences, but equally to awaken deaf opposition not only in the old Curia, but in some who are sorry to lose privileges in treatment and in comforts," Rodríguez said.

This month the world lost one of its greatest leaders – Nelson Mandela.  On Tuesday, hundreds of world leaders, including those from the most powerful countries, joined South Africans, and the world, in a memorial service for the anti-apartheid icon.

Eulogising Mandela, US President Barack Obama said his was “a life unlike any other” and compared him to freedom heroes Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. Obama described him as “a giant of history, who moved a nation toward justice and in the process moved billions around the world”.

 (Dr. Christine Haiden in "Oberösterreichische Nachrichten",, 12.12.2013) 

Sometimes you simply have to imagine a matter from the opposite point of view. What would happen if the Pope of the Church – a woman, who had reserved the central charges for women, declared, the "indispensable" contribution of men in the church would be appreciated, the female theologians would have to think however more intensively, where the specifically masculine charisma could develop the best way.

Such a speech would be unthinkable. Women who presume the authority to interpret nature and tasks of men, this does not work at all - and that's a good thing. But women should still lower their head patiently when the gentlemen of the Church assign them the place?