Blogwatcher - A blueprint for the pontificate of Pope Francis?


 Who picked Bergoglio for Pope? Not many journalists. David Gibson asks why, and gives credit to John Thavis who did get it right:

In retrospect, there were some hints of a Bergoglio candidacy. All the early buzz around appealingly novel papabile like Cardinal Turkson of Ghana or Cardinal Tagle of the Philippines diminished to almost zilch as it became clear the cardinals did not want to do anything too radical, like picking an African or an Asian – no “Obama moment” this time. They wanted something “out of the box” (a phrase that kept coming up in private conversations) but someone who would be familiar enough to perhaps win over some Roman votes – like Bergoglio, who was born of Italian parents, spoke Italian, and came from a very European country in Latin America.

Moreover, Bergoglio did enjoy a last minute bump from his intervention at the General Congregation, which drew the attention of some electors at the time. In the conclave his talk became even more important to those on the fence.

Now credit where credit is due: the only Vaticanista to pick up on the Bergoglio momentum before the conclave was John Thavis, the longtime CNS Vatican bureau chief and author of a new bestseller about his time in Rome, “The Vatican Diaries.”

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More insight into the likely orientation of Pope Francis' papal ministry comes from reports of the important role he played in the drafting the document from the CELAM Latin American bishops conference at Aparacida in Brazil in 2007.

Barbara J. Fraser writes that when the conference began, Cardinal Bergoglio was the runaway choice to head the drafting commission. said Archbishop Pedro Barreto Jimeno of Huancayo, Peru, who served on a subcommission that worked on the section of the final document about the environment.

"More than 130 bishops from Latin America and the Caribbean trusted him," said Archbishop Pedro Barreto Jimeno of Huancayo, Peru, who served on a subcommission that worked on the section of the final document about the environment.

"That trust reflected his simplicity, his lack of desire to stand out. Those things drew everyone's attention." The cardinal repaid that trust by working long into the night, encouraging his colleagues who were drafting various chapters of the document and urging them to keep two things in mind -- "Christ, the Good Shepherd ... and the people who were awaiting a word of enlightenment that responded to their needs," Archbishop Barreto said. Three themes at the heart of the Aparecida conference, which Pope Francis has echoed in his early homilies, were "the personal encounter with Christ, the option for the poor and stewardship of creation," the archbishop said.

Read the Aparecida Concluding Document here:


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 Certainly people continue to appreciate the human touch that he is bringing to his pontificate.

#PopeFrancis puts pacifier back in mouth of screaming…

— Catholic News Svc (@CatholicNewsSvc) April 10, 2013

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No doubt it's too soon to compare Kirsten Powers article Where are the front page horror stories? on the Kermit Gosnell abortion-murder case in the US with Emile Zola's famous J'accuse newspaper article in 1898 exposing the Dreyfus affair in France.

Nevertheless, it is remarkable to see how in the space of two days Powers' article has galvanised the social media sphere:

RT @lilagracerose: 166,800 tweets on #Gosnell! We will not be silent, even when the media wants us to be!

— Jill Stanek (@JillStanek) April 13, 2013


Good job, all. Keep it up. RT @patrickruffini: How the #Gosnell story took over Twitter:…

— Jill Stanek (@JillStanek) April 13, 2013

Elizabeth Scalia comments:

It has been, as Ed Driscoll notes a slow awakening for the mainstream media, but now that they are reading the Grand Jury reports on Kermit Gosnell and the testimony at his trial, some members of the press are saying yes, this story deserves covering and in fact demands it from many angles.

Perhaps I am only an optimist, and a naive one, but I feel like this is a break in the tide; a moment that can perhaps turn America from its myriad and mostly empty distractions, and get her asking important questions about who we are, what we have been enabling, who we want to be and what serving “the least among us” really means.

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The sad life of Rickey Lynn Lewis came to its anticipated end Wednesday morning Australian time

Before he died, Lewis admitted to Connie Hilton that he had raped her but denied murdering her fiance. The Start Telegram reported Lewis' final words before his execution:

"When I saw you in the truck driving away, I could have killed you, but I didn't," he said. "I'm not a killer."

Lewis thanked his friends who watched through a nearby window "for the love you gave me."

"I thank the Lord for the man I am today. I have done all I can to better myself, to learn to read and write," he said, appearing to choke back tears. "Take me to my king."

As the drug began taking effect, he said he could feel it "burning my arm."

"I feel it in my throat. I'm getting dizzy," Lewis said before he started to snore and, seconds later, lost consciousness.

He was pronounced dead 14 minutes after the lethal dose began.

Also present at the execution were Rickey's French adoptive parents Rene and Daniele Sirven, who described Rickey's final moments as "pure violence".

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More evidence on Twitter that's it's getting closer to World Youth Day in Brazil with the release of Rio 2013 soundtrack:

“In the heart of the WYD” gathers the Rio2013 soundtrack: “In the heart of the WYD” gathers the Rio2013 soundtrack

— WJD Rio 2013 (@wjdrio) April 8, 2013

Meanwhile, YCW leaders are doing their own preparation.

Doing it Melbourne YCW style

— Australian YCW (@AustralianYCW) April 13, 2013

The National Executive are hanging in Melbourne for team meeting #2

— Australian YCW (@AustralianYCW) April 13, 2013

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Last word to Jesuit Fr James Martin again this week:

People who mock Twitter say you can't express anything of value in a short space. Jesus did. The Beatitudes were all under 140 characters:

— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) April 12, 2013

Michael MullinsStefan Gigacz is preparing a PhD. at MCD University of Divinity, Melbourne, on the role of Joseph Cardijn at Vatican II. 

Disclaimer: CathBlog is an extension of CathNews story feedback. It is intended to promote discussion and debate among the subscribers to CathNews and the readers of the website. The opinions expressed in CathBlog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the members of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference or of Church Resources.

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