Our Opinion: Have you heard Pope Francis lately? Tell us your reaction


Pope Francis, who will be making a U.S. visit this week, salutes earlier this summer as he leaves St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. (Gregorio Borgia | AP)


Prepare for Pope Francis.

The leader of the Roman Catholic Church, who is expected to land on American soil Tuesday for a six-day visit, will bring to U.S. audiences his message of love, inclusion, healing and hope – yet still manage to make certain listeners burning mad. (He said what about climate change!?)

Like few leaders on the global stage in recent years, this blunt-speaking pontiff manages to focus the masses’ attention on critical issues – from the corrosive influences of capitalism to population growth – and get people talking, or at least thinking, about possible solutions. Sometimes his words soothe; sometimes they incense. Depending on the audience and the issue, his words can do both.

Have you heard what he has said about the role of women in the church? The environment? Divorce? Abortion?

Since his papacy began in March 2013, the former Jorge Mario Bergoglio has been viewed as a reformer, a powerful voice for justice, a beacon and a bit of a wild card. National Geographic recently compiled “10 of Pope Francis’s Most Provocative Quotes.”

Listen to the pope’s messages in the days ahead, during his planned stops at places including Philadelphia’s Independence Mall and a correctional facility, and let us know what you think. As always, we’ll share your letters to the editor on the Times Leader’s opinion pages in hopes of fostering a community dialogue about the issues of the day.

To get the conversation started, below are a few of the pope’s pithier quotations. Consider them words for reflection.

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“The Earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth. In many parts of the planet, the elderly lament that once beautiful landscapes are now covered with rubbish.”

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“Some think, excuse me if I use the word, that in order to be good Catholics, we have to be like rabbits – but no.”

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“It’s horrible to see the elderly tossed aside. It’s ugly and it’s a sin.”

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“People who started a new union after the defeat of their sacramental marriage are not at all excommunicated, and they absolutely must not be treated that way. They always belong to the church.”

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“I believe in God, not in a Catholic God, there is no Catholic God, there is God and I believe in Jesus Christ, his incarnation.”

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“I ask (business and other leaders) not to yield to an economic model which is idolatrous, which needs to sacrifice human lives on the altar of money and profit.”

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“A way has to be found to enable everyone to benefit from the fruits of the earth, and not simply to close the gap between the affluent and those who must be satisfied with the crumbs falling from the table, but above all to satisfy the demands of justice, fairness and respect for every human being.”

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“Instead of being just a church that welcomes and receives by keeping the doors open, let us try also to be a church that finds new roads … to those who have quit or are indifferent.”

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“I see clearly that the thing the church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful … I see the church as a field hospital after battle.”

Pope Francis, who will be making a U.S. visit this week, salutes earlier this summer as he leaves St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. (Gregorio Borgia | AP)
http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/web1_Pope.jpgPope Francis, who will be making a U.S. visit this week, salutes earlier this summer as he leaves St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. (Gregorio Borgia | AP)
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