Today March 13th is the 5th anniversary of the election of Pope Francis to the papacy. And despite his critics, some prominent church leaders openly and honestly discuss what they really think of him, the impact that his ministry has on universal Church, and on the world. This report now from CNS.
And what does the retired Pope, Emeritus Pope Benedict, think of Pope Francis, five years into his Papacy? Well, his thoughts are pretty clear. In a recent letter that he penned to the Prefect of the Secretariat for Communication, he wrote: “Criticism against Pope Francis is foolish prejudice”.
In a letter sent to Msgr. Dario Vigano, Emeritus Pope Benedict applauded the publication of a new book series titled, "The Theology of Pope Francis. Msgr. Vigano explains that Pope Benedict defended the continuity, of the Church's teaching under his successor, Pope Francis, and dismissed all those who criticize the Pope's theological foundations."It contradicts the foolish prejudice of those who see Pope Francis as someone who lacks a particular theological and philosophical formation, while I”, Pope Benedict wrote, “would have been considered solely a theorist of theology with little understanding of the concrete lives of today's Christian".
It looks like the Holy Father will be traveling again this coming September. The Holy See Press Office released a statement last week announcing that the Pope will embark on yet another apostolic journey, but this time, to the Baltic States.
Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia are the Pope’s destinations this September.
The announcement made by Greg Burke, Director of the Holy See Press Office said: “Welcoming the invitation of the respective heads of state and bishops, His Holiness Pope Francis will make an Apostolic Visit to the Baltic States from 22 to 25 September 2018, visiting Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. The programme for the visit will be published shortly”.
Finally, to commemorate the Pope’s 5th anniversary as the Successor to Peter, I leave you now, with these beautiful images of some of the most touching moments of the Pope’s past five years.
That is all that we have time for today. Join us again tomorrow, when I bring you more news and stories from the Perspective of a Catholic Lens.