Sarasota News Leader

10/25/2013

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OPINION POPE FRANCIS ACCORDING TO BISHOP DEWANE EDITORIAL The election in March of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, as the 266th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church created great interest in the world, both within and without the Church. The new Pope Francis was known as a humble man who eschewed the traditional trappings of episcopal office. What has thrilled liberal Roman Catholics and others in the world — while vexing Church conservatives — have been his much more inclusive pronouncements since taking office. At his first Maundy Thursday service during Holy Week before Easter, Pope Francis washed the feet of 12 juvenile offenders in a Roman detention facility. Two of those were females and two were Muslims. The reacThat was affirmed, to the chagrin and even tion from conservatives was greatest for his shock of Vatican traditionalists, once he inclusion of young women in what had tradibecame Pope. He refused to live in the lav- tionally been a male-only rite. ish apartment in the papal palace, choosing instead to occupy a few rooms in a nearby Since then he has made many statements in guesthouse. He even has chosen to forego interviews that have reinforced his expectamost of the vestments worn by a pontiff, tion that the Roman Catholic Church needs to focus more on its mission as an instrument keeping to a simple white cassock.

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