TIME Vatican

Vatican to Host Summit on Climate Change

Pope Francis leads general audience in Vatican City
Baris Seckin—Anadolu Agency/Getty Images Pope Francis arrives at St. Peter's square on April 15, 2014 to lead his weekly general audience in Vatican City, Vatican on April 15, 2015.

The move is part of Pope Francis's environmental strategy

The Vatican will host a summit on climate change and sustainability efforts later this month, officials announced on Tuesday.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will give the opening address of the “Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity” event, and faith and science leaders will give speeches and participate in panels. The goal of the summit is to highlight “the intrinsic connection between respect for the environment and respect for people—especially the poor, the excluded, victims of human trafficking and modern slavery, children, and future generations,” according to the Vatican’s website.

The summit is part of a larger effort by Pope Francis to bring the Catholic Church into the conversation about sustainability and the environment. The Holy See will write a papal letter to bishops this summer about the Vatican’s position on climate change—a fitting mission for a Pope whose namesake, Francis of Assisi, is the patron saint of the environment.

TIME Vatican

Pope Francis’ Old iPad Sold for $30,500 at Auction

"May you do something good with it," the Pope said

An iPad that once belonged to Pope Francis sold for $30,500 at an auction benefiting a school in Uruguay on Tuesday.

Despite the steep going price, school officials said they repeatedly failed to sell the Apple device through famed auction houses Christie’s and Sotheby’s before turning to local house Castells, NBC News reports.

The iPad is inscribed with the message “His Holiness Francisco. Servizio Internet Vatican, March 2013″ and includes a certificate signed by Fabian Pedacchio Leaniz, the Pope’s secretary.

Uruguayan priest Gonzalo Aemilius, who donated the iPad to the Francisco de Paysandu high school, said that Pope Francis told him, “May you do something good with it,” when he handed it over.

[NBC News]

TIME Vatican

Pope Francis Says Church Must Listen to Women

Pope Francis blesses the faithful during his weekly general audience at the Vatican on April 15, 2015.
Vincenzo Pinto—AFP/Getty Images Pope Francis blesses the faithful during his weekly general audience at the Vatican on April 15, 2015.

Pope Francis said at his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square that the difference between men and women was "not for opposition or subordination, but for communion and creation"

Pope Francis believes “more weight and more authority must be given to women,” both in the Church and in society, he said Wednesday.

Speaking at his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope stressed the need for women to not only be heard but also given a “recognized authority.”

He added that this reflected the way Jesus treated women and encouraged people to work “with more creativity and boldness” toward giving women the recognition they deserve.

“We have not yet understood in depth what things the feminine genius can give us, that woman can give to society and also to us. Perhaps to see things with different eyes that complements the thoughts of men,” he said.

The 78-year old Pope also touched upon questions of gender in modern society, saying that gender theory “aims to erase sexual difference” and that the removal of the difference is “the problem, not the solution.” Instead, he said men and women are meant to be complementary and he encouraged them to “treat each other with respect and cooperate with friendship.”

TIME Pope Francis

Pope Francis’ Latest Mission: Stopping Nuclear Weapons

Pope Francis attends a private audience with President of Slovakia Andrej Kiska at the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City, Vatican, on April 9, 2015.
Getty Images Pope Francis attends a private audience with President of Slovakia Andrej Kiska at the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City, Vatican, on April 9, 2015.

The U.S. State Department is revving up its efforts to work with the Holy See

The Vatican has long opposed nuclear weapons, but Pope Francis is making the cause one of the top diplomatic priorities of his two-year-old papacy.

In December, the Vatican submitted a paper calling for total nuclear disarmament to the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons. In January, Pope Francis touted nuclear disarmament as a major goal alongside climate change in his speech to the Vatican’s diplomatic corps. And on Easter Sunday, he publicly prayed that the prospective multi-nation deal to halt Iran’s nuclear weapons program would be “a definitive step toward a more secure and fraternal world.”

Many observers expect the Pope to raise the topic in his speech to the United Nations in September, especially as that event also commemorates the 50th anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s historic U.N. speech calling for “never again war, never again war.”

“Pope Francis has recently pushed the moral argument against nuclear weapons to a new level, not only against their use but also against their possession,” Archbishop Bernedito Auza, the Holy See’s Ambassador to the U.N., says. “Today there is no more argument, not even the argument of deterrence used during the Cold War, that could ‘minimally morally justify’ the possession of nuclear weapons. The ‘peace of a sort’ that is supposed to justify nuclear deterrence is specious and illusory.”

The Vatican push on nuclear weapons comes as the United States is in the final stages of negotiating a deal with Iran and as 190 parties that have supported the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty prepare for its five-year review. The upcoming NPT RevCon, as the U.N. treaty review conference is called, is the first NPT review during the Francis papacy, and Francis’ voice is already adding moral and political weight to the conversation. The Holy See, a party to the Treaty, has opposed the possession and use of nuclear weapons since the beginning of the nuclear age.

The Holy See is “very concerned,” Auza adds, about nuclear-capable states’ commitment to disarmament, arguing that the central promise of the treaty remains unfulfilled. “The fact that nuclear-possessing States not only have not dismantled their nuclear arsenals but are modernizing them lies at the heart of nuclear proliferation,” he says. “It perpetuates the ‘injustice’ in the NPT regime, which was supposed to be temporary while nuclear disarmament was in progress…. how could we reasonably convince the pre-NPT non-nuclear countries not to acquire or develop nuclear arms capabilities? Now, the real and present danger that non-state actors, like terrorist and extremist organizations, could acquire nuclear weapons ‘in the black market’ and ‘not-so-black market,’ ‘in the back alleys’ and ‘not-so-back alleys’ should terrify us all.”

On Thursday, two events on opposite sides of the planet signaled Pope Francis’ diplomatic reach ahead of the NPT review. In New York at the United Nations’ headquarters, the Holy See’s Mission to the U.N. and the Global Security Institute hosted a conference of diplomats and interfaith partners to promote the abolition of nuclear weapons. At the Vatican, a United States diplomatic delegation was courting Catholic Church leaders on President Obama’s commitment to nuclear disarmament.

Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller has picked up on the Vatican’s keen interest in nuclear disarmament and has made it a priority to engage the Holy See. Gottemoeller first visited the Vatican in January to discuss arms control and nonproliferation issues with several counterparts. In late March, the State Department invited the Holy See to participate as an observer in its new disarmament verification initiative, the International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification. This week, Gottemoeller returned to the Vatican with Madelyn Creedon, the Department of Energy’s principal deputy administrator for the National Nuclear Security Administration, for a two-day diplomatic visit.

Gottemoeller’s efforts have centered on briefing the Vatican on the United States’ disarmament agenda. She has been working to reach highest-level counterparts, as well as technical experts and non-governmental experts. “President Obama from the very beginning of his term in office has been very clear that his goal is to proceed with nuclear disarmament,” she says. “People think sometimes that that is just a kind of propaganda slogan out there without a lot of ‘there’ there, so I wanted to make sure that our Vatican counterparts knew the degree to which the President’s Prague initiative has become substantively a very significant part of our national policy.”

The United States knows the political capital Pope Francis holds when it comes to national and international decision-making. Most notably, the White House credited Francis for his role in brokering the U.S.-Cuba deal in December. “I think there is a huge moral impact of the Vatican on issues that relate to nuclear weapons deterrence and the disarmament agenda overall,” Gottemoeller says. “I see it is as a confluence of interest in a very positive sense. … You can’t just wave a magic wand and make nuclear weapons go away. It takes hard work and it takes a lot of very practical steps, but we can get there, and that is the President’s message. I just hope that we will be met by patience from the community trying to work on these issues.”

For Francis, nuclear disarmament—like most everything—must be viewed from the position of the poor instead of the position of the powerful. Inequality and nuclear power are interwoven. “Spending on nuclear weapons squanders the wealth of nations,” Pope Francis wrote to the Vienna Humanitarian Conference in December. “To prioritize such spending is a mistake and a misallocation of resources which would be far better invested in the areas of integral human development, education, health and the fight against extreme poverty. When these resources are squandered, the poor and the weak living on the margins of society pay the price.”

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has also been deepening its theological and political attention to disarmament. Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on International Justice and Peace, spoke at the Holy See’s U.N. panel. During the NPT RevCon, the USCCB plans to sponsor an event with the Kroc Institute on evolving Catholic perspectives from nuclear deterrence to disarmament. Stephen Colecchi, director of the USCCB’s Office of International Justice and Peace, says that the USCCB is trying to move the Holy See’s moral discussion forward in the U.S.—the USCCB had a close relationship with the Administration during the time of the New START Treaty, and has continued the dialogue with Gottemoeller, who is Catholic. “We certainly urge the United States to work with Russia and we have been urging them to separate the issue of the day, which is Ukraine, from the issue of the decades, which is nuclear disarmament,” Colecchi says. “Deterrence is even less stable in a multipolar world. We might ask, Are nations, including our own, serious about nuclear disarmament if they are modernizing nuclear weapons systems?”

After a period of denuclearization in the wake of the fall of the Soviet Union, several states in the developing world went nuclear and events recently have further undermined the NPT. U.N. Ambassador Libran Cabactulan of the Philippines—who was the president of the previous NPT RevCon—flew in from Manila to speak at the Holy See’s event at the U.N. on Thursday. “Nothing has been achieved. Nothing much,” Cabactulan told the U.N. gathering, describing the progress of disarmament in the last five years. “What perhaps I achieved, that was calling more on temporal power, and maybe I failed, because in the order of things it’s the tally sheet, what has been done. And that is why I am gratified…to have spiritual leaders.”

Ambassador Antonio Patriota, permanent representative of Brazil to the United Nations, believes that Francis’ position will resonate during the NPT review conference. “He himself coming from South America, we feel that he has a very deep understanding of the challenges posed by inequality,” Patriota says. “His words carry quite a bit of political weight. It is a powerful message from man of high moral standing in a time when leadership is scarce.”

TIME Vatican

Pope Francis Says St. John Paul II Was Shining Example of ‘Suffering With Joy’

The Pope spoke on the eve of the 10th anniversary of John Paul's death

Pope Francis said St. John Paul II showed sick people how to “carry the cross of suffering with joy” on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the Polish-born pope’s death.

Pope Francis spoke to tourists and pilgrims during his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday, the AP reports. John Paul died on April 2, 2005, at age 84, in the Apostolic Palace next to the square where Pope Francis spoke. John Paul became the Catholic Church’s first non-Italian pope since the 15th century when he was elected in 1978. He served until 2005, the second longest pontificate in history.

“We remember him as a great Witness of the suffering Christ, dead and risen,” Francis said.

[AP]

 

TIME Vatican

Read Pope Francis’ Message to the French Alps Crash Victims’ Families

Pope Francis speaks during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, March 25, 2015.
Andrew Medichini—AP Pope Francis speaks during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, March 25, 2015.

The Pope "prays for peace" for those killed on the Germanwings flight

Pope Francis wants to give “strength and consolation” to the families of the victims of Tuesday’s deadly Germanwings plane crash in the French Alps.

“He expresses his deep sympathy for all those touched by this tragedy, as well as for the rescue workers working in difficult conditions,” reads a Tuesday telegram from Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin. A memorial mass for all the victims was also held on Tuesday.

A hundred and fifty people “including many children,” the telegram notes, appear to have been killed when a Germanwings A320 Airbus crashed in a snowy region of the French Alps. More than a dozen passengers were German school children returning from an exchange-program trip in Spain.

The full statement, via Vatican Radio, reads:

“Having learned of the tragic plane crash in the region of Digne, which caused many casualties, including many children, His Holiness Pope Francis joins in the grief of the families, expressing his closeness to them in sorrow. He prays for peace for the deceased, entrusting them to the mercy of God that He might welcome them into His dwelling place of peace and light. He expresses his deep sympathy for all those touched by this tragedy, as well as for the rescue workers working in difficult conditions. The Holy Father asks the Lord to give strength and consolation to all, and, as a comfort, he invokes upon them the abundance of divine Blessings.”

TIME faith

Watch Pope Francis Get a Pizza in a Moving Popemobile

When you’re the Pope, your wishes really do come true

Pope Francis said earlier this month that the one thing that bugged him about being Pontiff was not being able to go out unnoticed to get pizza.

At least one Neapolitan sympathized with the Pope.

In a fearless act caught on video, pizzeria owner Enzo Cacialli ran toward the Pope’s motorcade in Naples—the legendary home of pizza—and handed the Pontiff a personal pie. Pope Francis reached down and accepted the offering, which had “Il Papa” spelled out in dough on top.

“It’s really hard for me to understand what I managed to do,” Cacialli told CNN. “Giving a pizza you made with your own hands to the Pope is very emotional. It’s really hard for me to express the value of this gesture for a man we really love and value, for a beautiful person full of humanity.”

Read next: How the World Knew What to Expect From Pope Francis

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Middle East

Vatican Backs Military Campaign Against ISIS

Silvano M. Tomasi
Salvatore Di Nolfi — AP Archbishop Silvano Tomasi arrives prior to the U.N. torture committee hearing on the Vatican, at the headquarters of the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva on May 5, 2014.

The Catholic Church says the use of force may be necessary to prevent “genocide”

The Vatican says military force should be harnessed to prevent ISIS from continuing to massacre religious and ethnic minorities across the Middle East.

“We have to stop this kind of genocide,” said Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s top envoy at the U.N. in Geneva, during an interview with Catholic news website Crux on Friday. “Otherwise we’ll be crying out in the future about why we didn’t do something, why we allowed such a terrible tragedy to happen.”

The diplomat went on to explain that ultimately the U.N. and its Security Council are responsible for formulating the appropriate policy to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria. However, the Archbishop insisted that any coalition mustered to fight the extremist group should include Muslim states from the Middle East.

Tomasi’s interview coincided with the publication of a joint statement he co-authored entitled: “Supporting the Human Rights of Christians and Other Communities, Particularly in the Middle East,” which called on the international community to provide larger amounts of humanitarian aid to those displaced by the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Syria.

TIME faith

Pope Francis Says His Tenure May Last Less Than 5 Years

Pope Francis arrives to lead a mass during his pastoral visit to the parish of Santa Maria Madre del Redentore in Rome
Alessandro Bianchi—Reuters Pope Francis arrives to lead a mass during his pastoral visit to the parish of Santa Maria Madre del Redentore in Rome on March 8, 2015.

"I feel that the Lord has placed me here for a short time, and nothing more"

Pope Francis, who was named pontiff two years ago on Friday, said he doesn’t expect to be Pope much longer.

In an interview with the Mexican broadcaster Televisa published Friday, the Argentine Pope predicted a “brief” tenure for himself. “I have the feeling that my pontificate will be brief: four or five years; I do not know, even two or three,” Pope Francis, 78, said. “Two have already passed. It is a somewhat vague sensation.”

“Maybe it’s like the psychology of the gambler who convinces himself he will lose so he won’t be disappointed and if he wins, is happy. I do not know. But I feel that the Lord has placed me here for a short time, and nothing more … But it is a feeling. I always leave the possibility open,” he said.

The papal post is traditionally held until death, though Francis’s predecessor Pope Benedict XVI resigned in 2013 after roughly seven years in office, becoming the first pope to step down in nearly 600 years. The current Pope has suggested in the past that he would lead a short papacy and he has not ruled out retiring.

In the interview released Friday, Francis said he does not dislike being Pope, but said one thing in particular does bug him. “The one thing that I would like is to go out, without anyone recognizing me, and go to a pizzeria to eat pizza,” Francis said.

Read an English translation of the interview here.

TIME

Will the Francis Revolution Last?

TIME Books

Not every pope with a game-changing dream succeeds in transforming the Church

This month marks the second anniversary of Pope Francis’ election. The following is taken from THE FRANCIS MIRACLE: Inside the Transformation of the Pope and the Church by John L. Allen Jr.

Pope Francis enthusiasts desperately want his papacy to succeed in overhauling Catholicism, while detractors fear that the longer it goes on, the harder it will be to roll back what they see as mistakes. Both camps tend to ask the same bottom-line question: “Will it last?” That is to say, will Pope Francis be a flash in the pan, a symbol of unrealized possibilities? Or will he permanently change the inner life of the Catholic Church and the way it presents itself to the outside world?

To some extent, the answer depends on how change is defined. If one means substantive alterations in Church teaching—for instance, acceptance of abortion; gay marriage; allowing couples to use contraception; and welcoming women priests—then the answer is no. Francis has made it clear that he’s not a doctrinal radical and does not intend to upend the catechism (the official collection of Catholic doctrine). On the other hand, if one sees change as a reorientation of Catholicism toward the political center, the geographical and existential peripheries and the heart of the gospel, then it’s possible Francis will leave an imprint on the Church that will outlive his own reign, however long or short it turns out to be.

Francis has moved aggressively to shuffle personnel in key positions. He has moved toward greater internationalization (dethroning Italians as the Vatican’s financial power brokers) and chosen moderates as opposed to traditionalist hard-liners. He has also started to appoint bishops around the world who share his views, notably the new archbishop of Chicago, Blase Cupich. Francis has acted with equal vigor on the legislative front, decreeing, among other things, a sweeping overhaul of the Vatican’s financial operation in the direction of greater transparency and accountability and issuing a series of new laws that make it virtually impossible for any future pope to return to the status quo ante.

The Francis revolution is being felt at the level of in-the-trenches application of doctrine rather than the doctrine itself. The pope is trying to encourage the most generous, merciful and flexible application possible, making it clear that his Church wants to include rather than exclude and sees people living in less-than-ideal ways as souls on the path to redemption rather than enemies who need to be excoriated. While the tension between rigor and acceptance is a constant in Catholic life—and no pope can fully alter the balance—there’s no question that in a remarkably short time, Francis has emboldened those who accent tolerance and discouraged those who want to battle with the outside world.

To what extent that new approach endures depends on a host of variables. For one thing, it may hinge on how long Francis is able to keep going at his current pace and to what extent he’s able to curb his tendency to overextend himself. It may also depend on whether he imposes a term limit on himself, following the example of Benedict XVI and resigning from the papacy in order to make way for a new approach. It depends, too, on which side of his soul prevails: the go-it-alone pontiff who believes he was elected to lead, or the pope committed to decentralization who is reluctant to overrule a body of bishops that is not always eager to follow him. It also depends on whether he continues to amass political capital or whether his papacy is blindsided by an unforeseen scandal or crisis. Perhaps, most fundamentally, the shelf life of Francis’s imprint will depend on how ready Catholics at the grass roots around the world are to embrace it and carry it forward, even when Francis himself is off the scene.

The key point to understanding Francis is this: beneath his humble, simple exterior lies the mind of a brilliant Jesuit politician. Francis is spontaneous and often unscripted, but he’s never naive. Behind his seemingly impulsive and extemporaneous flourishes is a clear conception of where he wants to go and how to get there. His supporters believe he’ll do whatever it takes to ensure that his vision for Catholicism is more than a beguiling but largely unrealized dream. Yet it’s worth recalling that not every pope with a game-changing dream succeeds in transforming the Church.

***

There are really only five ways a pope can institutionalize change in the Catholic Church, not just for the duration of his papacy but to reorient it in a decisive way for years to come. First, he can summon an ecumenical council, as Pope John XXIII did on Jan. 25, 1959, when he announced Vatican II. Second, he can appoint bishops who share his vision and who will translate it into practice in dioceses and parishes around the world. Third, he can change the law of the Church to make his way of doing things not merely a pious example but a binding requirement. Fourth, he can issue teachings that set the Church on a new path. And finally, he can create new structures in the Church as a permanent expression of a particular priority.

Francis’s mission is likely to come to fruition through the bishops he appoints, the laws he issues and the structures he creates.

The Catholic system is such that the bishop is the closest thing left on the planet to a feudal lord. The Code of Canon Law makes the bishop the supreme authority in his diocese, and although bishops are ultimately subject to the authority of the pope, in reality it’s impossible for Rome to exercise close supervision over the thousands of prelates around the world. Even when the Church tries to impose checks and balances, those limits are often more nominal than real. For example, Church law requires that a bishop have the approval of a diocesan finance council for certain types of expenditures, but it also allows the bishop to appoint the members of that council. If a bishop is so inclined, he can just pick people likely to rubber-stamp whatever he wants to do.

***

A pope can fire a bishop if he has a serious complaint about his performance, either by directly removing him from office or by informing him that his resignation is expected. Francis has already removed German bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van-Elst (the so-called “bling bishop”) from the diocese of Limburg in the wake of an overspending scandal. Considering the number of bishops in the world, however, such interventions remain rare. Everything about the culture of the Catholic Church assigns the benefit of the doubt to a bishop, and for the most part bishops have the power to govern their diocese as they see fit.

Bishops don’t have to stand for reelection, so they stay in their jobs until they either reach the retirement age of 75 or are sent to a different bishopric. But even when that happens, Catholic theology holds that “once a bishop, always a bishop,” and in those relatively rare cases when a pope ships a bishop off to a lesser assignment or forces him to resign prematurely, he remains a member of the College of Bishops with all its rights and privileges. As a result, bishops can carry forward a particular pope’s agenda well after that pope is off the scene. In the 1970s, Pope Paul VI appointed a series of bishops known for reforming attitudes and a strong concern for social justice, an outlook that in the U.S. was most associated with Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago. Those “Bernardin bishops” are still a force in the U.S. bishops’ conference today, more than 35 years after the death of Paul VI.

***

Pope Francis is hands-on with regard to most aspects of governance, and as a veteran churchman he knows how important the selection of bishops is in moving the Church in his direction. Francis laid out in black and white the sort of bishop he prefers in a June 2013 speech to his nuncios. He said that the first criterion for candidates is that they must be “pastors close to the people.” In the most celebrated phrase of the speech, Francis insisted that bishops must not have “the psychology of a prince.” Francis told the nuncios that if a priest seems to want to become a bishop, that’s a strong indicator that he probably shouldn’t get the job.

It’s still too early to assess how successful Francis will be in finding men to lead the Church who fit this profile. As Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York said in a 2014 interview, “Let’s face it, we’re still in April of the baseball season with this pope,” suggesting that there’s no real point in checking the standings so early.

What’s clear is that Francis takes the task seriously. For the most important choices around the world, Francis gets personally involved.

In the U.S., Francis tapped 65-year-old Cupich, previously the bishop of the small diocese of Spokane, Washington—and a figure who appeared on almost no handicappers’ list—to take over the critically important archdiocese of Chicago. Chicago is one of a few large dioceses around the world whose leaders help set direction for the Church in their regions, and it has long been a symbol for deeper realignments. During the 1980s and 1990s, the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin embodied the moderate, reforming spirit of the Second Vatican Council. The transition to Cardinal Francis George embodied the stronger emphasis on Catholic identity in the later John Paul II years, with resistance to the inroads of secularism the defining cause. George helped make the defense of religious freedom a signature cause for the American bishops, crystallized in the tug-of-war with the Obama White House over contraception mandates imposed as part of health-care reform. Both Bernardin and George served as president of the U.S. bishops’ conference at different points, and both were seen as representing the broader spirit of their era in the American Church.

In Cupich, Francis found another defining prelate to take over in Chicago. On a personal level, Cupich is regarded as humble and open, a pastor who “carries the smell of his sheep” that Francis has often said he wants in a prelate. He is clearly a moderate, upholding Church teaching on abortion, contraception and gay marriage but, like Francis, shunning strong rhetoric on those matters. Cupich has been identified with the wing of the American bishops that has tried to steer the Church down a less confrontational path. He tends to place special emphasis on the social gospel—concern for the poor and for social justice. In 2011 Cupich dismayed some of the most aggressive pro-life forces in Catholicism when he discouraged priests and seminarians from taking part in an anti-abortion protest in Spokane. Cupich is also seen as an adept manager and an internal reformer. In his role as chair of the U.S. bishops’ Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People, he helped lead the American Church’s efforts to recover from child sexual abuse scandals.

Francis was personally involved in Cupich’s selection, making phone calls to a wide variety of sources in and around the U.S. Church and consulting American prelates when they came to Rome.

Adding it all up, the kind of man Francis seems to look for in key posts is someone orthodox in doctrine but committed to dialogue and outreach; a man who doesn’t take himself too seriously; who emphasizes concern for the poor and those at the margins; and who gets out of the office and into the streets.

 

Excerpted from THE FRANCIS MIRACLE: Inside the Transformation of the Pope and the Church by John L. Allen Jr., published by TIME Books, an imprint of Time Home Entertainment Inc.

 

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