Robert Royal at the Catholic Thing seems to me to be a trustworthy and thoughtful commentator on the Catholic Church and Pope Francis. He is covering the Pope’s trip to the United States and will be in Rome next month to cover the synod.
So check out The Catholic Thing for his daily updates. And here is one concerning Pope Francis’ trip to Cuba.
Francis was busy about his Father’s business yesterday. The Gospel recounted how the Virgin Mary, after the Annunciation, went in haste to visit her cousin Elizabeth, already pregnant with John the Baptist. Francis took this opening to speak of “Grandmothers, mothers, and so many others who with tenderness and love were signs of visitation, valor, and faith for their grandchildren and their families.” This, of course, pays tribute to the quiet, often hidden role of women in transmitting the faith, especially in totalitarian countries where public practice of religion can lead to discrimination in schooling, employment, and government services. Priests who deal with Catholics in Miami say Cuban exiles often come to them without documents that record their baptisms – because their grandmothers had to perform the sacrament privately.
Francis wasn’t content to leave things in this private mode, however. He turned to another favorite theme of his – how we must go out of our own Catholic spaces to carry out an evangelical task: “Like Mary, Mother of Charity, we want to be a Church which goes forth to build bridges, to break down walls, to sow seeds of reconciliation. Like Mary we want to be a Church that can accompany all those ‘pregnant’ situations of our people, committed to life, culture, society, not washing our hands, but rather walking with our brothers and sisters.” A Church-y matter, to be sure, but perhaps also a signal that it’s time for the Church to take the word to a regime that’s tottering, and should be made to fall in the right direction.