When Pope Francis first emerged into the blinking glare of global publicity, most people had little idea who he was, says Simon Barrow. The initial attempts to fill the media void with headlines, soundbites and images still leaves us bereft of deeper understanding. We need time to grow that, and to realise that it is the fruits of action rather than heated rhetoric that will get us closer to the complexity of truth.
Cardinal Peter Turkson may have badly damaged his prospects of becoming pope by suggesting that child sexual abuse is not a major problem in churches in Africa because homosexuality is looked on negatively. The remark is not only offensive but also reveals a dangerous ignorance that may undermine attempts to protect children.
The successor to the Pope Benedict XVI needs to build on the work done by his predecessor in attempting to encourage peace with justice in the Middle East and North Africa, regional expert and Ekklesia associate Dr Harry Hagopian told Premier Christian Radio on 12 February 2013.
One of the possibly unintended consequences of Benedict’s announcement that he is to step down as Pope - something unprecedented in the modern era - is that it might set in motion a dynamic that creates renewed opportunities for ecumenical dialogue by offering a new perspective on the role and place of the papacy, writes long time observer Dr Stephen Brown. He offers an assessment of both the plusses and minuses of the pontiff's period in office from the perspective of inter-Christian relations.