Catholic author and columnist James Carroll has adding his voice to those wondering, well, at least, dreaming, that Pope Francis is bringing a major new opening to the Catholic church.
He wrote yesterday in his column the Boston Globe:
It has been a long time since popes have incited holy wars, and there is nothing new in the call to tolerate those who believe differently. But Francis’s sermon suggests a movement beyond tolerance toward an authentic pluralism in which the convictions of others are not only allowed, but valued. Instead of opposing others’ beliefs, Francis emphasizes “encounter.” The act of “doing good” is what overcomes intellectual and religious difference. For Francis, this innate capacity for virtue comes from God, but it lives in the “depths” of every heart.
Is it reading too much into a simple homily to imagine a coming shift? In the case of a pope, not necessarily. The reforming openness of John XXIII first showed itself in nuances like this, and the ecumenical spirit of Vatican II followed. It may be happening again.