Pope’s sister: Francis ‘plenty tough enough’ to lead | National Catholic Reporter

Pope’s sister: Francis ‘plenty tough enough’ to lead | National Catholic Reporter.

TUZAINGÓ, ARGENTINA

Though there aren’t yet hard numbers to back it up, it’s a good bet that the single most interviewed human being on the planet since March 13, 2013, has been a simple 64-year-old housewife in the Argentine city of Ituzaingó, about an hour outside Buenos Aires.The woman is Maria Elena Bergoglio, and her older brother Jorge today is known to the world as Pope Francis. They’re the last surviving siblings of five children, and since the moment Francis stepped out onto the balcony overlooking St. Peter’s Square, Maria Elena become the go-to point of reference for insight on the new pope.

Listening to her, she seems cut from the same cloth as her now-famous sibling: Humble and unpretentious, and also completely unafraid to speak her mind.

For instance, when stories began to make the rounds about Francis having become a priest only because a young love rejected his marriage proposal, Maria Elena was there to bat it down. She insisted that her brother was only a kid at the time, and the idea of getting married was never serious. More ominously, when critics suggested that her brother had been complicit in Argentina’s military junta, Maria Elena testily pointed out that her family emigrated from Italy because their father was opposed to fascism … the clear suggestion being that Jorge Mario Bergoglio would never betray his father’s memory by cozying up to dictators.Read more……….

Francis, the Jesuits and the Dirty War | National Catholic Reporter

Francis, the Jesuits and the Dirty War | National Catholic Reporter

Those who have not lived under a dictatorship should not be quick to judge those who have, whether the dictatorship was in ancient Rome, Latin America, Africa, Nazi Germany, Communist Eastern Europe, or today’s China. We should revere martyrs, but not demand every Christian be one.

Rumors and questions are circulating about Pope Francis and the time when he was the Jesuit provincial of Argentina and his relationship to two imprisoned Jesuits and the Argentine military dictatorship.

The Society of Jesus is filled with intelligent men who are passionate about their ideas and work, so of course there are arguments and disagreements just as there are in any family. I have had debates with other Jesuits over dinner where voices were raised, but that does not mean I don’t love them and would not be willing to die for them. We are a family.

Father Bergoglio, like Pope John Paul II, had serious reservations about liberation theology, which was embraced by many other Latin American Jesuits. As a North American I have trouble understanding these disputes since John Paul and Bergoglio obviously wanted justice for the poor while the liberation theologians were not in favor of violent revolution as their detractors claimed. But clearly this was an issue that divided the church in Latin America.

Part of the problem was the use of the term “Marxist analysis” by some liberation theologians, when they sought to show how the wealthy used their economic and political power to keep the masses down. The word “Marxist,” of course, drove John Paul crazy. Meanwhile, the Latin American establishment labeled as Communist anyone who wanted economic justice and political power for workers. Even many decent but cautious people feared that strikes and demonstrations would lead to violence. What is “prudent” can divide people of good will……..read more

Those who have not lived under a dictatorship should not be quick to judge those who have, whether the dictatorship was in ancient Rome, Latin America, Africa, Nazi Germany, Communist Eastern Europe, or today’s China. We should revere martyrs, but not demand every Christian be one.

via Francis, the Jesuits and the Dirty War | National Catholic Reporter.

Pope to journalists: ‘I love you so much and I thank you for everything’ :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Pope to journalists: ‘I love you so much and I thank you for everything’ :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

Vatican City, Mar 16, 2013 / 08:11 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis told thousands of journalists today he loved them and thanked them for their recent work.

“I love you so much and I thank you for all that you have done,” Pope Francis told over 5,000 journalists today at Paul VI Hall in the Vatican.

“We aren’t called to communicate about ourselves, but on this trinity of truth, goodness and beauty,” he told the journalists at 11:00 a.m. local time.

The newly elected Pope from Argentina spoke to them and their families on the third day of his pontificate.

“Your work needs study, sensibility, experience like all other professions, but needs to also give special attention to truth, goodness and beauty,” said the Pope.

“That is why we are so close because the Church exists to communicate precisely this,” he stated.

He thanked the journalists for their “hard work” covering the days since Benedict XVI announced his resignation adding that it is not easy to communicate to “a vast and varied public.”

“Be sure that the Church reserves a big attention to your precious work,” said the 76-year-old Argentinian.

The pontiff told the professionals that Jesus is the center of the Church and not himself.