George Weigel skriver om pave Frans

George Weigel er ikke hvem som helst (les om ham på Wikipedia , bl.a. om alle bøkene han har skrevet), og han skriver i dag på FirstThings om pave Frans, i stor grad ut fra et møte han hadde med ham i Argentina for et knapt år siden – for å finne materiale til sin siste bok, «Evangeliske katolikker«. Han skriver svært positivt om den nye paven, bl.a.:

What kind of man is (pope Francis)? Some impressions from an hour’s conversation last May:

A man of God.The new pope struck me then as someone who lived from the inside out: a man whose rich interior life was the basis of his public life; a leader whose decisions grew from prayer and discernment, not calculation.

A man of profound humility. I had long been interested in getting to know then-Cardinal Bergoglio, but I had the hardest time getting him to talk about his own life and experiences. I didn’t detect shyness in this, or false modesty, but a true evangelical humility. Pope Francis will not have the effervescence of a John Paul II; but like the Polish pope who created him cardinal, Jorge Bergoglio has spent his life saying, not “Look at me,” but rather, “Look to Jesus Christ.”

A man of keen and realistic intelligence. Pope Francis is not the university professor that John Paul II and Benedict XVI had been in their pre-papal lives. And while that model of preparing for the papacy served the Church well for thirty-five years, it’s not the only possible model. Now, rather than a professor who learned how to be a pastor, the Church has been given a pastor who has long experience of being a pastor.

Nonetheless, I was struck last May by Bergoglio’s sharp mind, his familiarity with issues throughout the world Church, and his prudence in judging people and situations. He was, for example, completely realistic and lucid about the Church’s situation in Latin America. …

A man of the New Evangelization. The new pope played a significant role in shaping the Latin American bishops’ 2007 “Aparecida Document,” which embraced the New Evangelization and put it at the center of the Church’s life. In our conversation, …

A man of reform. We spoke of the Latin American edition of my book The Courage To Be Catholic, for which he thanked me. And in discussing Vatican affairs, then-Cardinal Bergoglio displayed a shrewd, but not cynical, grasp of just what was wrong with the Church’s central bureaucratic machinery, and why. …

A man of freedom rightly understood. In addition to Pope Francis’ lifetime commitment to the poor I’d also note his commitment to human rights and democracy, both of which are under severe pressure in Argentina. The new pope knows the fragility of democratic self-governance, and will work to shore up democracy’s eroding moral-cultural foundations throughout the West.

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