Faith and charity
- Sreesanth, Jiju Janardhan lived in independently booked rooms: Cops
- India to convey concerns over Ladakh incursion to Chinese Premier
- IPL 2013 LIVE SCORE: Maxwell falls early in stiff run-chase
- Narendra Modi: India losing sheen as agricultural nation
- Rajapaksa slams Tamil diaspora for lack of support in reconciliation process
New pope promises a less opulent Vatican with many of its socially conservative positions unchanged
Shortly after becoming the Vicar of Christ, Jorge Luis Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, clarified that he was not named after St Francis Xavier of Goa fame, who had been a Jesuit like himself. He would be Francis like Assisi, a man of the poor. This Francis had brought "to Christianity the idea of poverty against the luxury, pride and vanity" of the clergy of his times, said the pope. Indeed, Bergoglio had been a familiar figure in the slums of Buenos Aires, he shunned the archbishop's palace for a modest flat and took the bus to church. Now, the papal ermine has been eschewed for an austere white robe and a wooden cross. But he has also warned that the church should not become "a charitable NGO". Evidently, if faith is to survive through charity, it must be a distinctly Christian charity.
Many foresee that an opulent Vatican will be stripped down to a missionary church under the new pope's watch. He advocates cultural diversity and condemns globalisation for imposing uniformity. He is said to believe in a process of wide consultation, unlike his predecessors, who concentrated power at the top. This new approach could help reform the Curia, the Vatican's mouldering bureaucracy. But many of the old socially conservative positions remain, against divorce, against abortion, contraceptives and gay marriage. The Vatican might sober up with Francis at the helm, but it probably won't climb down from its more controversial positions.
Pope Francis may even be more like his Jesuit ancestor than he suspects. Xavier travelled east to spread Christianity. The new pope's church for the poor could also find its centre of gravity in the countries of Asia and Africa.
- Destitute, orphan students outclass rest in Andhra Class 10 exams
- To re-energise ties, PM wants to visit US, waits for confirmation
- NIA court says no terror link, frees 'Hizbul militant' Liyaqat on bail
- CBI arrests its coal allotments investigator on bribery charge
- ‘Cricketer-bookie Amit may have used Jiju to reach Sree’
- BCCI chief N Srinivasan says police must prove spot-fixing allegations