PLEDGE NOW
Pope Francis Pushes For A Bigger Catholic Tent

A new kind of Pope. Pope Francis says let’s not obsess on gays and abortion. We look at where he may be taking the Catholic Church.

Pope Francis looks on during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013. (AP)

Pope Francis looks on during his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013. (AP)

What a pope Catholics have right now. Out with the fancy car, and in with the little Fiat. A pope who takes the bus, and talks everywhere, all the time about reaching out to all.

Sits down for a big interview and says the Catholic Church has been too obsessed with abortion, gay marriage and contraception.  Is asked about gays and says “Who am I to judge?”  This is a new tone, new talk from the top of the Catholic Church.

This hour, On Point:  a new kind of pope, and what Pope Francis means for the Catholic church.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Scott Appleby, professor of history and director of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

Damon Linker, contributing editor at The New Republic. His piece on Pope Francis’ comments is “Pope Francis’s Comments on Gays and Abortion Are Not a ‘Revelation.'” (@damonlinker)

R.R. Reno, editor of First Things magazine, a monthly journal of religion, culture and public life. He is a Catholic and a theological and political conservative. (@rr_reno)

From Tom’s Reading List

National Catholic Review: A Big Heart Open To God — “This church with which we should be thinking is the home of all, not a small chapel that can hold only a small group of selected people. We must not reduce the bosom of the universal church to a nest protecting our mediocrity. And the church is Mother; the church is fruitful. It must be.”

Washington Post: In Interview, Pope Sets A New Direction For the Church — “While Francis spoke with remarkable openness about religious doubt and uncertainty (‘If one has the answers to all the questions—that is the proof that God is not with him.’), he said nothing that altered church teaching. Nonetheless, it was clear that he was setting a new direction for the church.  “He has not changed anything doctrinal,’ said Father James Martin, editor-at-large of America, the Jesuit magazine that published the interview in English. ‘But he is encouraging us to shift our priorities from hot button issues to God’s mercy.'”

The Dish: The Rebirth of Catholicism — “Faith is not in the head; it is in the soul and heart and body. It is our acting in the world, not our debating the finer parts of infallible doctrine in an ‘inverted funnel’. And look how Francis uses the term ‘infallible.’ He uses it not to refer to the papacy, but to the people of God, you and me, and not in terms of possession of the truth, but rather the open search for it.”

 

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Feb 9, 2016
Host Tom Ashbrook and producer Sarah Platt speak to supporters of Republican Sen. Marco Rubio (FL) outside the candidate's Manchester, N.H. campaign headquarters on Monday, February 8, 2016. (Katherine Brewer / WBUR)

We’re live in New Hampshire for the first in the nation primary day, with all the latest on how the big vote is shaping up.

Feb 9, 2016
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop at a Rotary Club luncheon in Manchester, N.H., Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

From New Hampshire, a deep dive, from Trump to Sanders, on how the candidates would approach the U.S. economy.

RECENT
SHOWS
Feb 8, 2016
Legendary film critic  Roger Ebert in an archival image from his early days at the Chicago Sun-Times. (Flickr / WikiCommons)

The critic speaks. The New York Times’ A.O. Scott on how to think about art, pleasure, beauty and truth.

 
Feb 8, 2016
Sign stands outside property for rent Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in south Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

If it feels like rents are sky-high, you’re right. Some now paying more than half their income on rent. Some say crisis. We’ll dig in.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Notes From New Hampshire, #6: Bernie v. Hillary — The Electability Debate
Monday, Feb 8, 2016

Bill and Betty are not real New Hampshire voters. But their arguments about the Democratic race for President most certainly are.

More »
Comment
 
Notes From New Hampshire, #5: Ted Cruz — The Advocate
Monday, Feb 8, 2016

Texas Senator and Republican Presidential candidate Ted Cruz is an impassioned advocate, Jack Beatty writes — but mostly for himself above all others.

More »
Comment
 
Notes From New Hampshire, #4: Donald Trump — You Heard It First!
Friday, Feb 5, 2016

Jack Beatty recounts an evening rally with Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, and wonders if the billionaire businessman is really looking for an exit.

More »
Comment