Stanley Hauerwas Reacts to Pope Francis I

Stanley Hauerwas says that the choice of a Jesuit to be the new Bishop of Rome tells us a lot about where the Roman Catholic Church is headed in the near future. That Jorge Mario Bergoglio chose the name Francis tells us perhaps even more. Saint Francis – born into wealth – divested himself of everything not simply to minister to the poor, but to become poor himself. I hope that Hauerwas is right. Everything I’ve read so far about Bergoglio’s bio seems to indicate that he lives in real solidarity with the poor. I don’t think that’s something one can simply shut off when power is suddenly thrust upon him. This makes me hopeful.

I’ve heard some progressives lament that Francis I is extremely conservative. But true compassion always seems to trump those kinds of distinctions. The more I read about this choice, the more excited I become. I think he will be a leader much more in the vein of John Paul II. He was conservative, but his leadership was good news for the poor.

Here’s a clip from Hauerwas:

YouTube Preview Image
About Tim Suttle

Find out more about Tim at

Tim Suttle is the senior pastor of He is the author of several books including his most recent - Shrink: Faithful Ministry in a Church Growth Culture (Zondervan 2014), Public Jesus (The House Studio, 2012), & An Evangelical Social Gospel? (Cascade, 2011). Tim's work has been featured at The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Sojourners, and other magazines and journals.

Tim is also the founder and front-man of the popular Christian band Satellite Soul, with whom he toured for nearly a decade. The band's most recent album is "Straight Back to Kansas." He helped to plant three thriving churches over the past 13 years and is the Senior Pastor of Redemption Church in Olathe, Kan. Tim's blog, Paperback Theology, is hosted at Patheos.

  • Nick Gotts

    In what possible sense was JPII’s Papacy “Good news for the poor”? Most of the poor are women, and JPII was mostly about keeping women down.