…featuring a comment by our very own Fran Hogan!
Who speaks warmly about gay people. Who poses for selfies with young fans.
Who says church leaders have become too preoccupied with contraception, homosexuality, and abortion.
After one of the worst decades in Roman Catholic church history, marked by a devastating sexual abuse scandal, internecine turf battles at the Vatican, and a widening chasm between the hierarchy and the people, Pope Francis is changing the conversation about Catholicism around the world — and here at home.
Interviews with a dozen local Catholics offer a sense of how New Englanders have been absorbing the pope’s words and gestures, considering their meaning for the church and for their own spiritual lives.
They come from three very different parishes: Immaculate Conception is a multicultural, urban parish on Broadway in Everett, where Mass is offered in English, Haitian Creole, and Spanish. Our Lady of the Holy Rosary in Rochester, N.H., is a traditionalist church with a thriving charismatic prayer ministry. St. Susanna in Dedham is known as one of the most liberal parishes in the Archdiocese of Boston.
What they have in common: energetic and beloved pastors, vibrant communities, and a powerful sense of hope for the future of their church.
Francis. That’s what she calls him, just Francis.
“Because he is one of us,” she says. “There is no barrier.”