Never before has so much fresh air flowed through musty Vatican halls. Never has a pope said that conscience must not be sacrificed to hierarchical edicts. No pope ever insisted he is not a “right winger.” Suddenly a pope appears who knows that, search the Bible from top to bottom and you will never hear Jesus say: “By this shall people know you are my disciples, that you do not contracept!” Jesus never said it and this pope knows it. Nowhere in the Bible is abortion condemned. And never before did a pope abandon the errors of the Bible by rejecting its condemnation of those whom God has made gay.
The second Vatican Council opened doors, while popes like John Paul II and Benedict set out to slam them shut. But Pope Francis has not only unscrewed the locks from the doors, but he’s also unscrewed the doors themselves from their jambs. Never has a pope broken so sharply from his immediate predecessors and done it all with a gentle human voice.
“Recovering Catholics” who long since abandoned the pelvically obsessed church of the hierarchy are taking a second look. Right wing Catholics are aghast.
Jesus’ orthodoxy test was simple. To be one with him is to be “good news to the poor” and suspicious of the exploitative grasping rich. Church history is turning a corner. Reform from the top is a rarity but it is happening right now. Time will tell how far it goes, but right now Viva il Papa!