NCR's new blog series "5 minutes with Francis" poses the question: If you managed to meet up with Pope Francis during his U.S. visit -- and you had his full, undivided attention for five minutes -- what would you say to him?
Pope Francis you have given me hope for the Catholic community after a few decades of feeling more hopeless than hopeful.
You are, I believe, a prophet in the humble way of St. Francis who intuited God all around him but especially in the oppressed. Your prophecy though reminds me more of Jesus in the sense that he saw the "ills" in society and in the religious leaders.
For example, you have discerned that an institution closed in on itself lacks its full potential. Here I am referring to the Vatican and especially the leaders or Curia whom you have said need to be ‘in the world’ and more pastoral.
However, more prophetic, is your recent encyclical discerning the ills of society e.g. excessive capitalism, over consumption and the lost respect for mother earth.
I am quite aware that you have more important things to do, in what you have said is a very limited time in the papacy, than to consider changing established doctrine.
Doctrine such as ordination of women and same sex marriage so you have, as a Good Shepherd, tried to ameliorate by mercy no matter what your true thoughts may be.
However, the issue of contraception is one that needs to be reconsidered at the upcoming synod of the family! The wealthy, at least in the U.S., are by all accounts ignoring the ban. Whereas poor women, especially in the Global south where culture and laws tend to make women weak and the husbands demands triumphant, are left no choice but more poor children or breaking church laws which often keeps them from the Eucharist.
So please revisit this issue in the upcoming Synod on the family. A change may not only reduce poverty but may allow many to receive Communion who are now prohibited from doing so by their conscience.
What would you say during five minutes with Pope Francis? Pick one subject, and send us a brief note (300-400 words max) about the subject, and what you would say. Send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org.