The “Francis Effect” and remembering to talk about God

Be sure to check out Andrea Galiarducci’s latest Monday Vatican analysis.

“A must today as ever: Talking about God in light of Pope Francis’ missionary push”

Galiarducci opines that Pope Francis has had some success in polishing the Church’s image. Francis has even been able to say some tough things to the European Parliament and not get blasted in the press for it. You will recall that he tackled the problem of abortion and infertility, calling Europe a “grandmother”, that is, no longer able to bear children. He inspired the wrath of the Fishwrap’s feminists, but the secular press gave him a pass. Similarly, the UN launched a couple nasty attacks on the Church, but they didn’t stick. Teflon seems to be part of the “Francis Effect”.

On the other hand, the way that Pope Francis speaks may be taking us away from serious, or deeper talk about God, which I think we can all recognize is important.

Thus, Galiarducci points out that Benedict XVI (Emeritus) has suggested as a topic for his annual Schülerkreis (study meeting with former students held in August): “How to speak about God in the contemporary word.”

Even while the Church is getting a PR boost, in large part because of Pope Francis’ style, we can’t stop talking about God. As a matter of fact, how can we use the present positive upswing in order to talk about deeper issues?

It is possible that Benedict XVI has been watching what is going on in the world and the Church in this pontificate and has put his finger on a weak spot.

I am mindful of something Card. Sarah said in November.  HERE

“It’s very important to express that the hunger we are suffering today is not having God in our life, in our society,” the cardinal said Nov. 7. He explained that Benedict XVI’s encyclical insists that charity is the way we express our faith. Although giving food is necessary, “the main food is God.”

He recounted a story from one of his two trips to Syria to visit refugees. He met a small child who asked him: “does God really exist? Why did he let my father be killed?”

This child had everything, the cardinal observed, including food and medicine, but still lacked the most essential thing, which is the assurance that God exists and is close to him.

“(So) charity today is not only to act for social work, for material assistance, but really to bring the Gospel to the people.”

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. So then, does this mean Pope Emeritus
    Benedict realizes that this papacy isn’t exactly going according to plan, or contrary to the reform of the reform?

  2. Pingback: In Refugee Limbo, Iraqi Christians Keep the Faith - Big Pulpit

  3. FrAnt says:

    Can we send that message to the Nuns on the Bus?

  4. Sonshine135 says:

    I thought God was a “God of surprises”. We don’t need to speak about Him, he just pops out of nowhere like a jack-in-the-box. “Surprise!”

  5. Bosco says:

    And yet in his 3,744-word speech to the European Parliament on 25 November 2014 Francis did not once mention the name of Jesus and used the word ‘God’ only 4 times.

  6. Kathleen10 says:

    Mother Teresa made that same type of observation about her work in Calcutta, unless you were doing it all for Jesus it was just glorified social work, or something to that effect.
    She wanted no part of that.

  7. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Fr. Z asks, “how can we use the present positive upswing in order to talk about deeper issues?” How indeed: I recall when Mother Teresa came to Britain she emphasized two problems, poverty and abortion – one too many for the ‘quality newspapers’, BBC, independent television, etc. – and guess which got omitted.

Comments are closed.