Pope Francis U.S. Visit: Love and Joy Trump Rules (Mark 10:2-18)

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By Sr. Simone Campbell.A 23-year-old Reading native struggles to find stable work that will allow her to maintain her apartment and support her family. I practiced family law in California for many years. I know the anguish of the breakup of a marriage. Often one spouse would come to me to try to untangle the legal mess of a marital relationship. What I noticed was how much ambivalence went into the process. So many wished that they could salvage the marriage but for a myriad of reasons … [Read more...]

Pope Francis Visits U.S.: Greed Is Your Fatal Flaw (Esther 7:1-6, 9-10, 9:20-22)


By Amy Erickson.We asked people what they thought about Pope Francis. During his visit to Bolivia in July, the pope addressed an audience of farmers, trash-pickers, craftspeople, and un-unionized workers. He expressed his compassion for the poor and the marginalized and advocated passionately for them, but he did not stop there. As he did in his encyclical on climate change, the pope identified and condemned the systemic and structural causes of their suffering: the global idolization of … [Read more...]

Pope Francis on Climate Change: Hearing the Cries of Earth and the Poor (2 Corinthians 8:7-15)


By Keith Anderson.Facts about climate change and poverty. Last week Pope Francis issued a blockbuster papal encyclical on the environment called “Praised Be.” It is the pope’s clarion call to address what he describes as an urgent global environmental crisis. Sweeping in scope, it addresses the many dimensions of environmental degradation and the devastating toll it is taking on people, communities, and nations.  He writes, “It is my hope that this Encyclical Letter…can help us to acknow … [Read more...]

An Unexpected Servant: The Leadership of Pope Francis (Isaiah 49:1-7)


By Lynn HuberPope Francis signaled a new kind of Vatican leadership from the very first acts of his papacy. As the New Year brings reflection over the past year, we have heard much about Pope Francis and the ways he has surprised Catholics and non-Catholics alike.  The suddenness of his predecessor’s resignation this past spring, the fact that he is the first Pope from the Americas, and his apparent commitment to his namesake St. Francis’ concern for the poor and displaced al … [Read more...]

Pope Francis: Holy Humility in Community (Luke 18:9-14)


By Carolyn J. SharpPeople express their opinions of Pope Francis, who has made his concern for the poor a central theme of his young papacy.Reversals of power play through many stories and poems of Scripture. The sacred texts foundational to Jewish and Christian identity are insistent in their efforts to reconfigure our understanding of what counts as valuable and holy. Daring leaders in every age have responded with their own bold visions regarding what makes for faithful … [Read more...]

Why Our Bodies Matter


By Greg CareyImmediately following the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope came the predictable speculation. From the United States and other wealthy nations, folks wondered what the new Pope would say about issues related to gender and human sexuality. What about birth control, homosexuality, and women’s leadership in the church? Did the new Pope really support civil unions for gay and lesbian couples in Argentina, as some reported? Others, including many from Latin America, A … [Read more...]