The president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, said that in the first six months of his pontificate Pope Francis “has gotten the world, and non-believers as well, to focus their attention on the Gospel.”
In an interview with Madrid-based news agency Europa Press published Oct. 17, Cardinal Ravasi said this fact is part of the reform that the Pope is carrying out at the pastoral level, but that one of the most important reforms will consist of making the Roman Curia “lighter” and “more essential”, without “so much structure, so many diacasteries, so many people.”
Cardinal Ravasi said the reform is also aimed at making the Curia “more international” and “strengthening the relationships with dioceses, with bishops, with local Churches."
Likewise, he said this would also be a renewal at the administrative and financial levels, at the Institute for the Religious Works, at the economic structures of the Holy See, which are necessary, as the faith is not only about the interior life or about spirituality, but must also be expressed to the exterior world, such as through works of charity.
In his view, Pope Francis' connection with people stems from three elements of communication that he has adopted: the use of simple phrases, as in 'Tweets'; the use of images or symbols employed in advertising in today's television world, such as when he compared the Church to a field hospital; and the use of body language.
Cardinal Ravasi, whose dicastery will organize a Courtyard of the Gentiles in Berlin in November, 2014 on the topic of freedom with and without God, said dialogue between believers and non-believers on issues such as society, the person, and the meaning of life is not about “convincing” others or “proselytism” but about learning from each other's faith and moral elements.
The celebration of the Courtyard of the Gentiles, he said, is relevant in the “era of Francis” as the Pope himself has given an example by dialoguing with Italian journalist Eugenio Scalfari, who is a non-believer.
He said that among the challenges facing the Pontifical Council for Culture are the dialogue between art and faith, and science and faith, the study of communication within the Church in the digital age, and the problem of the economy studied not so much as a financial technique, but as general problem that concerns the organization of society.