Pope Francis made headlines worldwide when a lengthy interview with Italian Jesuit journal “La CiviltÃ Cattolica” published last Thursday suggested his leadership would alter the Catholic Church’s focus on social issues. Notre Dame theology experts said it is clear that Francis’ statements provide a potential perspective change but not a radical upending of Church teaching. Pope Francis’s words on abortion, same-sex marriage and contraception generated controversy. “It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time,” Pope Francis said in the interview. “The dogmatic and moral teachings of the Church are not all equivalent. The Church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently.” Theology professor Fr. Brian Daley, a member of the Jesuit order like Pope Francis, said he does not find Francis’ ideas revolutionary but rather just a demonstration of different style and points of emphasis. “As [Pope Francis] has said, what he’s saying has been there in the Catechism, it’s been there in the teaching of the Church, but people perhaps haven’t realized it,” Daley said. “Part of it is the way the media picks it up and spins it. But I do think the style of the Pope is distinct, and it’s very much his own. And to a great extent, I think it comes out of his Jesuit spiritual background and the Jesuit way of approaching pastoral issues.” Daley said the Jesuit tradition has been to be at the service of the Church, training the members of the order intellectually “in the highest standards of the day,” but also to be deeply rooted spiritually in prayer, contemplation and the Gospels. “I think the basic instinct of the Jesuits and modern Ignatian spirituality in general is a pastoral one,” Daley said. “It’s a matter of asking what can we do to help people come into contact with Christ and follow him. “And as Francis says, it’s not that the rules that the Church presents us with are false or irrelevant, but the Church is not basically there to announce rules. It’s there to pronounce God’s love to people.” John Cavadini, theology professor and director of the Institute for Church Life at Notre Dame, said he sees Francis’ statements as a continuation of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s reminder to focus on the essentials of Catholicism. “What [Pope Francis] has been saying is very much in keeping with Pope Benedict,” Cavadini said. “I think people see there being this division between them, but remember that Pope Benedict published his first papal encyclical on love, called ‘God Is Love.’ I don’t think you can get more essential than that.” Benedict’s next two encyclicals were on hope and faith, respectively, and Cavadini said Francis’ statement last week highlights the same focus on these essentials in a different way. “Pope Francis has a very distinctive pastoral application of this emphasis on the essentials,” Cavadini said. “What he’s basically saying is that you don’t attract people to the faith and you don’t keep people in the faith by concentrating all the time on things that aren’t part of the essential proclamation. “And so what you end up doing, maybe, is making people forget what the essentials are if you’re always talking about other things and you have what he called a kind of ‘fragmented message.’ I think there is a very fundamental continuity with Pope Benedict’s emphasis on the basics, but I think there is a difference in style and a difference in pastoral application.” Pope Francis said the Church must find a new balance or else its moral edifice would be in danger of “[falling] like a house of cards.” Cavadini said Francis is trying to steer the attention to the most essential parts of Catholicism that make the faith vibrant to believers. “The whole point is to convey the beauty of the whole so the more difficult teachings don’t seem like just isolated invitations to desolations, but part of a larger piece and part of a Church that cares about everybody,” Cavadini said. “If the Church shows itself to be a caring communion, then it’s easier for people because there’s something lifted in their lives all the sudden if someone is willing to help them.” This “pastoral framework” for approaching people could transform the whole communion of the Church without altering any of its moral teachings, he said. Pope Francis’ new approach to these teachings partially stems from his different background compared to that of Pope Benedict. “Pope Benedict was a professor … and he became a bishop not out of a pastoral parish experience as much as from a professorial experience,” Cavadini said. “I don’t like people saying Benedict is bad and Francis is good; I think that’s just very superficial because Pope Benedict was a very loving person, a very smart person, but a professor. “He focused on the essentials but spun it as saying ‘these are our foundations, and that keeps us from succumbing to cultural relativism.’ I think Francis, taking the same emphasis on the essentials, says ‘how do we translate this into a way of pastoring or shepherding?’ I think Francis thinks that it translates into a pastoral care of warmth and presence … carries those essentials of the Gospel with them.” Daley said he sees Pope Francis as “an intellectual but not an academic,” especially taking into account his background in Argentina and his appreciation for world culture. “I think [Francis] operates on a fairly imaginative level,” Daley said. “And Benedict does too, but Benedict is the shyer person; he’s kind of an introvert, I think. And he’s a first-class intellectual theologian … where Francis is much more of an extrovert, a charismatic personality. “I think what he’s doing is a typically Jesuit approach, training himself as well as possible in human culture and human understanding … I think he’s really someone who tries to think in contact with the present time, but the reason for this is always to do the work of God and bring the Gospel to people.” Cavadini said viewing these issues as part of the larger context of the essentials of faith makes it clear that the Church’s mission goes beyond rule-making and finger-pointing. “These are pastoral issues before they’re political issues,” he said. “I think that makes a big difference to people’s lives. With this new approach, you create new possibilities with that warmth and presence and a willingness to bear people’s burdens with them.”
Published on April 1, 2016 at 10:44 pm Contact Jake: firstname.lastname@example.org Libi Mesh couldn’t believe what she had done until her whole team surrounded her in a mosh pit. She, like many of her teammates, had not looked at the scoreboard until the game was over.“I had no idea what the (final) score was,” Mesh said. “I went to cheer on (Dina Hegab) and my teammates yelled that we had won.”Almost four hours had passed since the start of the match and it seemed as if Syracuse was going to lose its sixth straight game until it didn’t. Headed by two furious comebacks in singles from Valeria Salazar and Mesh, along with a stellar day overall by Gabriela Knutson, 40th-ranked Syracuse (9-6, 3-6 Atlantic Coast) defeated 19th-ranked Wake Forest (16-6, 5-5), 4-3, after losing in doubles in an up-and-down match.After losing five straight matches, including a 7-0 loss to No. 4 North Carolina last Thursday, assistant coach Shelley George was happy to see Syracuse pull off the comeback, which is what Pro Football Hall of Famer Floyd Little spoke to the team about recently.“There was so much fight in both of those girls today”, said George. “… We actually had Floyd Little come in and talk to the girls about perseverance, getting through tough times and finding a way. You can’t measure (the size) of somebody’s heart.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textGeorge spoke with Salazar during her singles match when she was down 5-1 in the first set and changed her strategy, leading Salazar to a comeback win. George told her to come to the net more frequently and attack her opponent’s forehand.“Besides the ranking (of Wake Forest) that’s going to help us,” Salazar said. “We all fought and persevered.”Mesh, who had been down 5-0 in the final set of her match against Luisa Fernandez, also changed her approach and made a furious comeback that would ultimately seal the win and upset for Syracuse.“I just didn’t give up and I knew if I won it made it easier for (my teammates),” Mesh said. “I saw that at some point she started rushing and (going after) the ball early. (Head coach Younes Limam) told me to stay positive and cheer for the other girls and that will help me to relax more.Limam is happy to see his team put the past few weeks behind it and carry the momentum from this match into the final weeks of the season.“This is why we play”, Limam said. “April is a big month for us and a lot is at stake, such as the NCAA’s. We needed a win like that to get momentum back.” Comments Related Stories Gabriela Knutson anchors Syracuse’s win against Wake Forest Facebook Twitter Google+
An 11-year-old girl in Broward County has died from complications of the coronavirus, according to state health department records and the county’s medical examiner.The medical examiner says Yansi Ayala, of Fort Lauderdale, died on Wednesday at Broward Health Medical Center.She had underlying conditions including cerebral palsy, epilepsy and asthma.The state’s database says her infection is not believed to be travel-related.Ayala is the youngest Broward resident to die from COVID-19.Health officials last week confirmed that an 11-year-old boy from Miami-Dade County had also died from the coronavirus, becoming the state’s youngest known fatality from the disease.