Skip to main content

Buy the Print Edition of Radical Second Things!

What Has Pope Francis Meant?


Recently, several articles have been released alluding to the health of Pope Francis. As much of a radical breath of fresh air as he may have been for some, Jorge Mario Bergoglio is 77 years old. He is an old man. His ideology, liberation theology of the sort popular in Latin America, is only new in the Vatican's halls of power. It has been around for decades and is only finally getting its deserved time in the spotlight.

People do not live for centuries. I know as well as anyone that death is waiting for all of us, patiently, and it will come whether we are ready or not. Francis has a good quarter century on this planet at most before he heads off to wherever he does.

Whether the rumors of illness are true or not, and the Vatican denies them, Pope Francis took the ailing body of Catholicism from life support to be able to run and play tennis within a very short time. One friend of mine, a self described former Christian, said that he really did not think that the Catholic Church would survive in to the twenty first century if it had another reactionary like Ratzinger in power and I agree. There is a long tradition of radical, thoughtful and, God forbird, socialist intellectual thought and action of a Catholic variant but, until Francis, it was hard to sell others on its validity.

With Francis, suddenly people like Paul Farmer, a human rights activists who has worked in the poorest parts of the planet, was being quoted by the New Yorker. He said of Francis' refreshingly radical rhetoric, "Even if it's just for show, keep showing it." Farmer has collaborated multiple times with Gustavo Gutierrez, a Catholic thinker who created Liberation Theology in the 1970s.

The Catholic Church's sins are storied - but they need not be as scarred on the church as they became. As horrifying as the sex abuse scandals were, American public schools are as filled with incidents of sex abuse on children as the Catholic Church. It was the response of the Church - moving priests in to different jurisdictions after they got caught - that really messed up the Catholic Church's image. While many have criticized Francis as just turning up the volume on public relations, the most significant thing he has done has been putting victims of sex abuse in to positions of authority in the Church.

Francis' simple human normalcy - talking about having worked as a bouncer, saying casually "Who am I to judge?" when asked about homosexuality - an answer which not only refuted conservative Catholics but also was a whole lot better than some sort of official announcement of Vatican policy toward homosexuals and a host of genuine, heartwarming photos with average people all made the Papacy human again.

A wealthspring of healthy and refreshing Catholic writing has already come up in a short time - the New Yorker article is added by this great one in The Daily Beast by Nathan Schneider - "12 Ways Catholicism is More Radical Than Pope Francis." Whatever his lasting contribution to both Christianity and to the world is, this website and articles like that wouldn't exist without his contribution. In only a short time, he has marked in place in cement as a historical figure of weight.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

No More Rev

So I was working as a transcribor for Rev for the last four months. I stayed on despite a few very bad ratings. Over the last few weeks, my ratings were on point, regularly getting 5/5 and bringing home 3 figures each week.

I got great ratings this week and then abruptly, tonight, I got this message sent to me: 

Unfortunately, we can no longer keep your transcription specific account open. This is due to your accuracy and quality being below our acceptable average. Your transcription account is being deactivated today. If you have any other account type with us, that will remain open. This decision is final.
You will be compensated for all completed work. Here are your performance metrics for August 6 to October 5.
So, given that message, I would assume that it's time to school my self-esteem, right? I'm obviously not fit for this line of work. Well not quite. Look at the metrics they sent me:
MetricYouRevver TargetRevver+ TargetAccuracy4.34.24.6Formatting4.74.24.6% On-time submiss…

The Nix and the Science of a Great Novel

I recently finished The Nix, a novel by up and coming novelist Nathan Hill, which fits all the standards for a really great novel. Great novels, despite the fluidity of good literature, do tend to follow a formula - a formula that a great artist (and writing is an art) is able to adept to and mold in to his own creation.

A great novel is sweeping. Sweeping or sprawling. These are descriptions you often hear of great books. Benjamin Percy described The Nix as "culturally relevant, politically charged, historically sweeping, sad, full of yearning, sometimes dark, but mostly hilarious." This is something that could also be described with another great American novel, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon, which one critic refered to as a novel with "epic sweep."

Chabon's book swept through roughly three decades - the three protagonists met in the 1930s and only resolved their problems and tensions in the 1950s. Nathan Hill's characters …

Evoke Part Nine: An Art Project By Jordan Denato and Orion Deschamps

RST on Facebook

About Radical Second Things

Michael Orion is a blogger, writer, artist and photographer based in the Bay Area. Besides his maintenance and promotion of Radical Second Things, he contributes to the San Francisco newspaper SF Western Edition, where he writes about local non-profit organizations.

Mark Cappetta is a practicing Catholic and active LGBT activist. He has been instrumental in keeping Radical Second Things and updates the Facebook account almost daily.

Eva Gnostiquette is an artist, programmer, "future scientist," bi-trans girl and graphic designer. She voluntarily helped to create the first print issue Radical Second Things and designed our beautiful banners. Thanks so much, Eva!

Jordan Denato is a professional artist based out of Iowa. He took the initiative to illustrate both Jennifer Reimer's story and Michael Orion's Oscar Romero work. He has his own art studio, Tar and Feather Studios, and is a critical part of Radical Second Things.

Radical Second Things is a liberation theology themed blog that has clear cut goals - we see the structural decline of the United States and much of the west and hope to present alternatives that will offer "a preferential option for the poor" as more become vulnerable.

© 2017 Radical Second Things