Is Pope Francis’ Accessibility a Good Thing or a Disaster?

Is Pope Francis’ Accessibility a Good Thing or a Disaster? October 1, 2013

If you’re paying attention today amidst all of the government shutdown stuff, you’ve likely heard the scuttlebutt about Pope Francis’ most recent media interview. You’ll find the English translation of his chat with La Repubblica’s founder, Eugenio Scalfari — an atheist — on the Culture page at La Repubblica.

The Catholic blogosphere is once again abuzz, as we were last week when the America interview went wide.

Per Rocco on Twitter, the interview was a result of a “cold call”:

… and Fr. Z is warning that the English translation is not completely accurate.

Rather than parsing the text, I’m going to encourage you to take five minutes and read it for yourself. In an environment where these types of moments are often “spun” by mainstream media, I encourage all of us — myself first and foremost — not to rely on anyone else to spoon-feed us papal news.

My main question today is this: do you consider Pope Francis’ use of media and his seeming interest in being accessible to us to be a good thing, or a bad thing?

I know my answer. I personally love an environment where “Did you hear what Pope Francis did today?” becomes a regular topic of conversation at dinner. In the past few months, I’ve had more conversations with non-Catholic friends about my faith than I can remember having in years. But I also recognize the danger of heading into such chats unprepared. This means that to be an effective part of Team New Evangelization, I need to do my homework. But first and foremost, I need to know my faith and cultivate my prayer life. Introducing others to Jesus Christ demands nothing less, and without God’s grace I’m hopeless.

Some among us seem to fear that Pope Francis has gone too wide, that he is stepping away from the decorum of the pontificate. For me, I can’t get enough of the man and the feeling that he leads me to about the faith I love. So what do you say? Is Pope Francis’ Accessibility a Good Thing or a Disaster?

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