During one of the Pope Francis’ off-the-cuff, on-the-plane news conferences that have become a hallmarks of his pontificate, he continues to make history on his flight back from Paraguay to Rome.
And as we parse his words, we begin to get an idea of what can we expect from this humble but bold Pope when he visits our Gotham City this September.
Kevin Clarke, a reporter for the Washington Post, writes today that:
Pope Francis is not interested in changing political or economic systems, but in changing hearts, in acts of personal conversion that can lead to social transformation. He is not calling just for better mitigation of the suffering of the poor or reforms of global markets, but change which is redemptive for everyone.
His is a revolution of conscience that “saves” the tiny percentage of the world’s rich from the spiritual morass of materialism as much as it rescues billions around the world from the blunt deprivations of poverty.
He has come not to profess socialism, but to proclaim a social moral principle: that a just economic order—one well within our reach—is one that serves people and protects the earth, not one that exhausts people and creation as disposable economic inputs.
We embrace Pope Francis’ mission at Catholic Charities. For more than a century we have rebuilt lives and touched every human need promptly, locally, day in and day out.
We applaud you, Pope Francis. We welcome you. And we look forward to your visit.