Pope Francis is Time’s man of the year. Like Father Raymond de Souza’s take on this:
The 20th century posed three enormous challenges, not only to the Church, but to all of Western civilization. The first was from “above,” the totalitarian state seeking to crush all social institutions, including marriage, family and the church. The second was from “below,” the sexual revolution and its attendant social changes, which undermined marriage, family and the church. The third was in the entire intellectual environment, in which the possibility of knowing the truth at all, especially moral truth, was radically questioned.
It is possible to understand John Paul II and Benedict XVI as two parts of an epic, world-changing, 35-year pontificate, which went into battle on all three fronts. Call it “police work” or manning the barricades or clambering aboard the ark in rough waters — it was necessary. If Francis now is able to return to what the Church usually does in times of relative tranquility, it is because of what went before. Does the Church appear to be more attractive under Francis? Time is right about that, for she is attempting to be more of who she properly is.
Many pro-lifers are concerned that Pope Francis was telling them their work was not important. But I did not hear this in his message, personally. And more to the point, I am unwilling to trust a radically anti-Catholic media’s interpretation of the Pope.
I do think the pro-life message is itself an act of charity, and that the “telling the truth” element of it is heard best when accompanied by old-fashioned charity. (As a side tangent note, which I’ve made so often before, pro-lifers are very often denied the opportunity to be hands-on charitable, so quick does our cultural outlook nurture a trip to the abortion clinic. Because this is the case, countless pro-lifers spend their time serving those who are born. It is the mark of someone who knows nothing at all about pro-lifers who says otherwise.)by