John Gehring, Catholic Program Director for Faith in Public Life, interviewed Archbishop Emeritus Joseph Fiorenza of Galveston-Houston, Texas. Fiorenza tells Gehring that the US bishops “have a lot to learn from Pope Francis.”
The whole Q&A is worth your time. Here’s a few highlights:
Fiorenza: The Pope’s very clear teaching condemning the “economy of exclusion” and the structures of sin that are involved strikes at the heart of some conservative Catholics who are so wedded to the unfettered free market that they think the Pope’s talk is naïve. Well, the Pope sees it as realistic. The poor of the word who suffer from that type of economic philosophy see it as realistic. The Pope is on a steady course. He is not naïve. He knows what he is doing. … The Pope is saying you weaken your pro-life position when you don’t take a broader view of issues that attack human life. … The Pope is saying the economy has built in a structure that strongly impacts against the humanity of people and that is an evil too. … By broadening the focus, he is strengthening our preaching against abortion.
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Gehring: Some Catholics have expressed disappointment that Pope Francis has allowed the oversight of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious to continue.
Fiorenza: I think if Pope Francis had stopped the process it would have been perceived as him disagreeing with Benedict so I’m not really surprised the oversight (of LCWR) continued. But my hope is there is much more dialogue going on, and I hope they have a chance to meet with Pope Francis. Hopefully, there will be more voices coming forward among bishops who want to get this issue resolved.