I think there are many good observations in this article. I had missed it, but a friend sent me a link last night. In it Father Longenecker asks if Pope Francis is an Evangelical, Charismatic Catholic:
As a former Evangelical who has been influenced positively by the renewal movement, and was once an Anglican priest, I am interested in the contrast between Pope Francis’ reception of Evangelical and Charismatic Christians and his meetings with leaders like the Archbishop of Canterbury. He invites the Evangelicals and Charismatics to jolly meals in the St Martha Hostel, but greets the Archbishop of Canterbury with cordial formality. Is this a sign that Francis’ heart is more with the Evangelicals and Charismatics?
Does he sense that the ecumenical current is moving away from talks with the established mainline Protestant denominations and toward the edgy, spirit-filled, informal Charismatic-Evangelical contingent? Does he sense that the old Protestant denominations are going down fast while the Evangelical-Charismatics are on the up? One doesn’t need the supernatural gift of prophecy to see in what direction the larger Protestant world is headed. Considering the strength of Evangelical Charismatic worship in the developing world, Pope Francis is right to have an eye on the future.
Is Pope Francis an Evangelical, Charismatic Catholic?
Three other signs indicate that this is the best way to understand him. First is his repeated discussion of the reality of Satan and the need for spiritual warfare. This is Evangelical-Charismatic talk. Secondly, his desire for a simple, down-to-earth, people-centered ministry. This too reflects the strengths of the Evangelical-Charismatic movement. Finally, Francis’ willingness to take risks, overturn the more staid aspects of Catholic tradition and sit lightly to the legalities feels like the same “bottom line back to basics” Christianity of the Evangelicals and Charismatics.
Those who find Francis enigmatic may come to understand the man as they learn to see him as the Evangelical Charismatic Catholic Pope.