Monday, June 20, 2016

New Evangelizers Post: St. Francis of Assisi and Pope Francis

I have a new article up at  

When Jorge Bergoglio was elected to the papacy, I wrote about his choice of name “Francis.” As a Jesuit I wondered if he meant Francis Xavier. But it turns out that he made took on the name in honor of St. Francis of Assisi. I speculated the implications of the name and I think it is very helpful to look at how Saint Francis informs the papacy of Pope Francis.

There are many who contrast his pontificate with that of his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI. It should be important to note at the outset that these difference are difference is style and difference in emphasis. They are not differences in doctrine. Particularly, I would say that the main difference is between emphasizing orthodoxy and orthopraxis.

Orthodoxy is “correct teaching.” This involves making sure that all of the teachings of the church in all parts of her body are in alignment with the holy truth that comes from the Sacred Deposit of Faith given to us by Christ.

Orthopraxis is “correct action.” This means going out in to the world and living the way Christ wants us to and by our actions changing things for the better.

I think it is very instructive to look at the most influential saints in each of their lives: For Pope Benedict it was St. Augustine.  For Pope Francis it was his namesake: Francis of Assisi.

You can read the entire article here.

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