I’ve hit on these themes before, as did Massimo Faggioli when he delivered the annual Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Lecture at USC earlier this month.
But I thought this piece, which The State picked up over the weekend, further makes the case that the ideas of Columbia native Bernardin may today be more influential than ever in Rome. An excerpt:
(RNS) The election of Pope Francis in March heralded a season of surprises for the Catholic Church, but perhaps none so unexpected – and unsettling for conservatives – as the re-emergence of the late Chicago Cardinal Joseph Bernardin as a model for the American Catholic future.
While there is no indication that Francis knows the writings of Bernardin, who died in 1996, many say the pope’s remarks repeatedly evoke Bernardin’s signature teachings on the “consistent ethic of life” – the view that church doctrine champions the poor and vulnerable from womb to tomb – and on finding “common ground” to heal divisions in the church.
Ironically, the re-emergence of Bernardin — a man who was admired by a young Chicago organizer named Barack Obama — is exposing the very rifts he sought to bridge, especially among conservatives who thought his broad view of Catholicism was buried with him in Mount Carmel Cemetery outside Chicago….
Show me a Pope who actively promotes effective birth control measures then I’ll take these guys seriously. Otherwise they have a long way to go to address the realities of the 21st century.