Tuesday, November 26, 2013

World News: Pope Francis urges reform in Catholic Church

Pope Francis called for reform saying Catholics should be more engaged in helping the needy as he outlined his vision for the future of the Roman Catholic Church, according to news outlets. He is open to suggestions that can help make his ministry more effective, in the way Jesus Christ served the lost and needy.

Francis said it was time for "a conversion of the papacy," adding that "excessive centralization" and bureaucracy complicates the Church's life. Bishops should have "genuine doctrinal authority," he wrote in his 84-page document, saying the Church has made little progress. He said the issue of the priesthood being reserved for men was "not a question open to discussion" and ruled out allowing women priests.

On abortion, Francis said the Church "cannot be expected to change its position on this question," but added it should do more to "adequately accompany women in very difficult situations where abortion appears as a quick solution." 

The Pope has established a council of cardinals to advise him on reforms including a shake-up of the Vatican bureaucracy after a series of high-profile scandals in recent years and disgruntled members.

Also, Pope Francis stressed the importance of the Church's social message while condemning the injustices of the global economy and modern capitalism. He said Christians should embrace people of other faiths and other countries should grant Christians the freedom to worship and practice their faith.

Francis included practical tips for priests on how to give better homilies as well as a call for them to be closer to their parishioners. "Our church doors should always be open, so that if someone, moved by the Spirit, comes there looking for God, he or she will not find a closed door," he said.

Pope Francis's document shows his desire for a more socially conscious Church, to be more active in evangelism and show more unconditional love. What do you think of his efforts to unite the Church?

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