5 Rules for Reading Pope Francis: Rule # 1

It's all still so new: a Pope who calls people from his own cell phone; off-the-cuff interviews (during which he makes sure his guest has coffee--or water, as the case may be); the mad scramble afterwards to get to the heart of the message. After yesterday's marathon, I think we need to establish some ground rules.

Here's Rule #1: Get used to it.

Right now things feel a bit like that little pirogue I paddled off in one fine summer morning when I was a postulant home for a family visit. I pulled away from the shore to make my meditation in the gently rocking vessel. But by the time my meditation was complete, the lake was starting to roil, and I was not entirely confident that I could actually control the thing and get back to our campsite. That meditation time I enjoyed on the calm waters corresponds to the gentle pontificate of Pope Benedict. With Francis, instead, we have someone who plunges into the water yelling, "Cannonball!"

The interview published in yesterday's "La Repubblica" wasn't the first headline-generating papal interview (even Benedict pulled one of his own a few years back: remember the "condom" headlines?). It certainly won't be the last: Francis promised La Repubblica's Scalfari a follow-up conversation on women in the Church.

The waves are stirred; everyone takes notice. What are you going to do now? Smack the irrepressible pontiff upside the head with an oar so you can continue your quiet meditation, or accept the invitation to jump in with him?

I know what I'm going to do.





Pope Francis School of Life, Inspiration


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