Letter published in IRISH TIMES 6 January 2014
John Waters constructs a world media conspiracy which portrayed Pope Benedict as “unsympathetic and conservative” and which now depicts Pope Francis as “a caring and people’s Pope” (Opinion, January 3rd).
While these media constructed descriptions are not fully adequate they do describe in broad sweeps the personalities of both men. The only radical action Pope Benedict ever did was to resign, thus allowing a new pope to assume this office.
From the adoption of the name Francis to his blueprint for a new church as outlined in his recent letter “The Joy of the Gospel” this new Pope is a breath of fresh air. His calls for the “conversion of the papacy’ and a de-clericalised church are radical and needed reforms which have come from Pope Francis himself and are not media constructs.
The fact that Francis’s attempted limited reforms are already meeting with resistance, both within the Vatican and outside it, shows that he is seen as a radical shift within the Catholic Church and beyond. – Yours, etc,