Traverse City Record-Eagle


August 3, 2013

New pope shakes things up


Instead, Francis molded the church in Argentina in quieter ways by recruiting and promoting a new generation of outgoing priests in his own model, and not only fellow Jesuits used to living among lay people.

His replacement as archbishop, Mario Poli, had impressed Bergoglio by earning a degree in social work from the public University of Buenos Aires. In a book of dialogues with a friendly rabbi, Francis said, "This is a much better situation, because in the (university) you become acquainted with real life, the different points of view there are about it, the different scientific aspects, cosmopolitanism. . It's a way of having your feet well planted in the earth."

The shake-up message is also one he's applying as pope to the Vatican's staid and dysfunctional bureaucracy. Francis has made clear that big change is on the way, naming commissions of inquiry to investigate the scandals at the Vatican bank and propose an overarching reform of the entire central governance of the Catholic Church.

The pontiff has dived into crowds that have greeted him at the Vatican and in Brazil.

During two raucous rides down Copacabana beach, he's waved, smiled and stopped repeatedly to accept gifts thrown at him from the crowd. At one point, Francis gave away his own white skullcap and put on another one tossed in from the street.

For Argentine student Ana Paula Garrote, Francis was showing Catholics they needed to live that type of spirit.

"For me, the pope wanted to say that we should go out into the streets, not stay in the parishes, and not be ashamed of talking about God," Garrote said.



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