Pope Francis: Pastoral Challenges for our Spiritual Journey

By Father John W. Crossin, OSFS
Pastors, Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant, know that challenging the members of the Congregation is part of the job description. Issuing such “wakeup calls” is usually not the pastor’s favorite thing to do. The pastor’s popularity — and collections — might go down as people can initially be shaken or even angry about a challenge. Yet the pastor is charged with the spiritual well-being of the members of the Congregation.

Recently Pope Francis’ poll numbers have gone down a bit. Most everyone knows that he has been saying quite challenging things since he was elected bishop of Rome. Reading the texts first of his exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, and now his encyclical, Laudato Si’, I see something to challenge almost everyone. I include myself as one who has been challenged, for example, to live more simply, among other things.

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