Those of us who watch closely what is going on in the Church need to pay attention to happenings local and Roman and papal. When it comes to papal, we also have to watch the dicta et facta of those who surround the person of the Roman Pontiff. The close the intimate collaborator, the closer we watch. These are the people who not only execute and report on what Popes do, they help Popes determine their policies and emphases.
Hence, when one of Francis’ closest collaborators puts out a book, we at least take notice. Mind you, I am not saying we should read it. But we should take notice of it.
Jesuit Fr. Antonio “2+2=5” Spadaro, SJ, whose great interest in Pier Vittorio Tondelli is now more widely known, clearly one of Francis’ most important and intimate sherpas, has a book coming out with Bloomsbury.
In the spirit of openness Spadaro blocks me on Twitter.
About Open to God: Open to the World
Pope Francis’s impact on the modern world has already proved extraordinary. It is no surprise that he was voted Time magazine’s Person of the Year (in 2013), joining the likes of Martin Luther King (1964) and President John F. Kennedy (1961). [What a curious thing to include. Weren’t MLK and JFK both adulterers? One might counter that Hitler (1938) and Stalin (1939) were included. Of course TIME didn’t choose only the “good guys”, but – to be fair – significant figures. But, since these folks think that history and the Church began in the 1960’s, Time also had Richard Nixon (’71 &’72), Deng Xiaoping (’78 & ’85), Khomeini (’79), and… significantly in 2002 – WHISTLEBLOWERS! and in 2017 SILENCEBREAKERS] Francis has turned the Catholic Church upside-down, flung open the windows of the Vatican and started to purge the church of corruption, nepotism and financial skulduggery. But above all he is engaged with the poor, the starving and the marginalised. He has made important visits to troubled spots in the world and invariably people say his appearances change everything. [History is still to be written. But the best part is to come…]
Pope Francis is in constant dialogue with the outside world and with the universal Catholic Church. He likes being asked questions, finding it easy to respond, and maintains a good relationship with the press. In this new book are some of his most valuable engagements in dialogue form with people of all sorts and kinds. On the one hand, there is his recent engagement with priests in Colombia who are locked in a struggle for human rights. In another lengthy piece, he talks about the importance of scripture, in a way which shows how this is a living source of inspiration. Also included are the texts of the Pope’s most recent addresses in Myanmar, Peru and Chile.
Open to God: Open to the World offers a fascinating glimpse into the mind and workings of this entirely different Pope. As we see in these conversations the Franciscan revolution is under way and, in spite of Francis’s critics, the revolution will roll on and new horizons will be opened for the one and a half billion Catholics in the world today.
“He likes being asked questions, finding it easy to respond…”.
I think we might be permitted a dubitation about that, at least when it comes to certain issues.