As participants entered the Vatican Aug. 29 for a closed-door meeting on the church's governance, women's ordination advocates gathered outside to protest — only to then be removed from the premises and later detained by authorities.
The consistory for the creation of 20 new cardinals on Aug. 27 showed that Pope Francis is firmly in control of the global church, and shows no signs of slowing down. It is clear as day that his vision for the Catholic Church is taking root.
Francis has elevated 20 prelates — including San Diego's Bishop Robert McElroy — to the rank of cardinal, asking them to use an "unassuming power" and preach the Gospel with an openness to all people "without exception."
Luxembourg Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich favors a church "where everybody can feel at home." He added: "If we close the door on people, we push some people into despair and that is something we do not want."
Cardinal-designate Robert McElroy is one of the nation's leading experts on John Courtney Murray, says Michael Sean Winters, who can't think of a better time for a new cardinal with expertise in religious liberty issues.
When the world's cardinals meet in Rome, the pope will create 21 new cardinals, then ask them and their new colleagues to discuss curial reforms. This will also allow them to get to know one another before the next conclave.
San Diego's Robert McElroy, who will be elevated to cardinal on Saturday, has been among the most outspoken among U.S. bishops in addressing climate change and environmental justice, and transforming words into actions.
Pope Francis has taken another step to rehabilitate Cardinal Angelo Becciu, inviting the once-powerful Vatican prelate to participate in an upcoming meeting of cardinals two years after Francis forced his resignation based on purported financial improprieties.