Pope Francis' 1st year: No revoluton, but hope for change
"He talks about a more open-armed church. I like that," the 48-year-old San Antonio resident said. "Actual change won't be easy, especially when that change is about some dearly held beliefs. But he talks about a more open, more accepting church, and that gives me hope."
While a change in policy remains to be seen, it was an open and very public declaration of intent, which many saw as at least the beginning of a positive change.
He baptized the baby of a couple who'd been married outside the church - in the Sistine Chapel, no less - and promised an unmarried pregnant woman that he'd baptize her child as well, if she couldn't find another willing priest.
In a November apostolic exhortation, he said, "Just as the commandment 'Thou shalt not kill' sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say 'thou shalt not' to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills. How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?"
In his first year, he replaced four of five cardinals who sat on a bank supervisory board. Those replaced had been appointed to five-year terms in the last days of Benedict's papacy.
While Francis has addressed topics such as Communion for those who've divorced and offered hope for a larger role for women in the church hierarchy, Tosatti notes that any change would come against the deeply held beliefs of many around the world. Change isn't as easy as announcing it from the Vatican.
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