Saturday, January 11, 2014

The church is becoming more socially oriented under Pope Francis - expert

The church is becoming more socially oriented under Pope Francis - expert2013 unexpectedly brought a new steerer to the Holy See wheel - quite a significant event both for the Roman Catholic Church and the entire world. 

And while the new Pontiff sticks to a rather traditional doctrine, he has already reformed the church. 

When Benedict XVI announced his resignation the world has shaken, but the election of
Pope Francis, formerly known as Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina, shook it even more. 

Since his very first days, Francis broke a number of Vatican traditions - having named himself after Saint Francis of Assisi, a humble supporter of the poor, the new pontiff rejected all papal privileges - popemobile, the apartment used by Benedict XVI and others before him, as well as refused to wear the red leather shoes popes usually wear and asked for a gold-plated silver cross and the fisherman's ring instead of the golden ones, becoming the first pope to do so.
Pope Francis is famous for his modesty - when being a priest in his home Argentina he took a bus with ordinary people and cooked his own meals. Now he is the symbol of reforms so much needed by the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church. However, one shouldn't expect some drastic changes as the new Pope is rather changing the appearance of the church, not its essence, political analyst Pavel Svyatenkov told the VoR.
"The church is becoming more socially oriented under Pope Francis. Traditional Catholic conservatism has recently been challenged as clergymen are forced to talk about homosexuality and giving women a bigger say in the church. And the pope found the answer to these calls-shifting the focus to caring about the poor, saying this should be number one priority until the world has fewer destitute people. So, Francis has changed the focus of the church but his doctrine remained conservative."
The new pope has also reorganized the Roman Curia - he began with the Vatican Bank, the Istituto Per le Opere di Religione, otherwise known as the IOR- that has long been seen by many in Europe as a secretive tax and money laundering hub. Francis has ordered investigation into the bank transparency — that would allow the Vatican to continue using the Euro.
Francis has also replaced the Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone as the secretariat is the second most important office in the Vatican being responsible for both the Church's external relations with other countries, and the internal relations between the various offices of the Church. 

Moreover, Francis has confirmed four prefects of the nine Congregations and this is just the beginning, believes priest Kirill Gorbunov, spokesman for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Mother of God in Moscow.
"The major reform Pope Francis is talking about is making the church answering all the calls of an ordinary person - which means all its institutions should be changed or adjusted. It is so far unclear how this will be done but Francis has definitely made steps towards a more collegial approach surrounding himself with cardinals-consultants.They are already working on various issues."
Since taking the helm, Francis has met with dozens of heads of states, including Russian President Vladmir Putin. Their meeting could not only boost ties between the two churches but strengthen inter-Christian relations in general, believes expert in religious studies Alexey Yudin.
"Before meeting President Putin at the G20 opening in St Petersburg, Pope Francis sent him a message about the ongoing war in Syria and concluded this very well thought out letter with a request for prayer meaning he addressed the Russian president as a Christian. This is quite an interesting setting - the pope and Russia's president as two Christian leaders - this can not be ignored."
And finally the authoritative American magazine Time named Pope Francis its person of the year . 

"He took the name of a humble saint and then called for a church of healing," Time wrote in its announcement. 

"The septuagenarian superstar is poised to transform a place that measures change by the century."
Experts believe that even if Francis wouldn't have been granted the title, he were the winner anyway as he managed to return his flock to the Church.

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