Two of Pope Francis’ three encyclicals have Franciscan-inspired titles. Three of his predecessors had been Franciscan friars, including Pope Sixtus IV, who commissioned the chapel where this election was taking place. Why hadn’t any of them chosen the name Francis? It’s only conjecture, but perhaps they didn’t want to set the bar that high for themselves. Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s choice reflected the parrhesia (bold proclamation) ascribed to the apostles and others in Acts of the Apostles. Pope Francis has often spoken about all evangelizers’ need for parrhesia.
Although Pope Francis’ Jesuit roots are deep and solid, in many ways his words and actions have made him the most Franciscan of popes. His encyclical, ‘Fratelli Tutti’, proves this.
‘Fratelli Tutti’: The Great Need for Social Friendship
In March of 2013 when Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, SJ, was receiving a significant number of votes in the papal conclave, his good friend Cardinal Claudio Hummes, OFM, leaned over and said, “Remember the poor.” Indeed, Bergoglio did that when he accepted his election and chose the name Francis. He soon clarified that this was in honor of St. Francis of Assisi. Click here to read more.
‘Fratelli Tutti’: Truth in Dialogue
On January 6, we watched a rioting mob invade the US Capitol. In the days that followed many questions confronted us. What must we do to overcome such dangerous polarization? Is there guidance that we can adopt to serve as a unifying thread for the work needed to heal rifts, restore integrity, re-center truth? Click here to read more.
‘Fratelli Tutti’: Bridging the Divide