Sep 30, 2015
Last week, Pope Francis held much of the nation riveted on his presence, words and gestures. Millions gladly stood for hours in long lines to see him pass by in his Fiat and pope mobile if only for a few seconds. Political leaders anticipated his reflections on global concerns. Children, families, the imprisoned, victims of sex-abuse, and those in consecrated life awaited his encouragement and consolation.
Cuba, Washington, New York City, and Philadelphia-four different places with four different responses. Liberals and conservatives interpreted his words as they wished. Though not a theologian by training, Francis used images and gestures in other ways to express a theology of God and a theology of God's People. The handshake, the embrace and kiss, the blessings offered to the infirm-our young people will interpret them. The crushing schedule seemed to invigorate rather than exhaust him. It was a lovely week in Northeastern America.
The Papal Message
Pope Francis conveyed a few underlying themes during his visit. Cuba of course claimed his special attention, and he will pursue the Church's interests there with focused concern. His overall message in this country proclaimed that God is our Creator, and we, his creatures. Not the other way round.