Explore Five Years of Pope Francis
The Pope’s visit to Ireland in August has finally been confirmed. This month marks five years since the election of Pope Francis. In this interview with Pat Coyle, Gerry Whelan SJ, lecturer in theology at the Gregorian University in Rome, gives his list of highlights and lowlights of Francis’ papacy.
Gerry says, the Pope’s highlights include his three major documents, Amoris laetitia on love in the family, Laudato si’: On Care For Our Common Home and Evangelii Gaudium: Proclamation of the Gospel in Today’s World, all of which resonated with people around the world. Gerry added that his other major contribution was his reform of the Roman Curia.
The lowlights, he said, include his slow response to child protection, and the lack of progress in giving women structures that would allow them engage in meaningful decision making within the Church.
Gerry also speaks of the significance of a warm endorsement that Benedict XVI gave the Pope at a book launch on Francis’ theology in Rome, saying it might come as a rebuttal to critics who say that Pope Francis is deviating from the theology of Pope Benedict. He says the defence of the Pope by Benedict and others at the launch is an indication that persistent attacks on Francis are a matter of concern for those close to him.
He begins by looking at his major documents and why they spoke to so many.