Francis: what is in a name?
Thomas Reese (a Jesuit priest and Vatican observer) begins his short article in the National Catholic Reporter this way, “In picking the name Francis, the new pope sent his first message to the world, but what is that message? Four possibilities come to mind, and perhaps they are all true.”
He then describes the possibilities:
- First, St Francis of Assisi was known for his life of poverty.
- Second, early in his career, St. Francis heard a message from God: “Rebuild my church.”
- Third, Francis was also famous for his love of animals and nature.
- Finally, Francis was known for his peaceful and positive attitude toward Islam.
He concludes, “Yes, there is a lot to learn from a name.”
You’ll want to read his fuller description of each of these possibilities: Francis: What is in a Name? in the National Catholic Reporter. You will have much to think about; I know I did.
Do the chimes sing of hope and possibility today? What do you hear? Please leave a comment.
Photo: REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
With just the wind moving the chimes the melody constantly changes and is pleasant. Stick your hand into the chimes, or move the chimes yourself, and, well, its not so pleasant. What do you hear?
An understandable impulse with unfortunate dynamics
Members of the Sunday Morning Forum, including me, watch and wonder and pray as Roman Catholics (through the College of Cardinals) choose the next pope. It is a significant moment for Christianity, not just for the Roman Catholic Church. Today Religion News Service (RNS) reported on the handling of information from the cardinals now gathered in Rome prior to the conclave. The decision was made to silence all cardinals and offer media updates only through the official briefing of the Vatican.
By silencing each other I wonder if the cardinals have thus created the very dynamic they hoped to prevent: a generation of “more leaks, and more of the speculative pieces that annoy the cardinals.” (RNS) Here is the article: Cardinals move to plug leaks ahead of papal conclave posted by RNS on March 6, 2013.
Fun facts and historical notes
You may also enjoy this collection of stories and facts about popes and conclaves collected by RNS: Popes and conclaves: everything you need to know (posted March 3, 2013)