National Catholic Register


The Francis Approach

Publisher's Note

BY Michael Warsaw


March 9-22, 2014 Issue | Posted 3/4/14 at 4:04 PM


In our story on page 5 of this issue, Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, extols Pope Francis’ ability to cut through the layers of insulation and focus on Christ.

It’s a great message for all of us to keep in mind as we continue on our Lenten journey this year.

Cardinal Burke counters the secular media’s perception that the Pope will alter Church teaching on moral issues (something that similarly was speculated early in Blessed Pope John Paul II’s papacy). "The Holy Father, it seems to me, wishes to pare back every conceivable obstacle people may have invented to prevent themselves from responding to Jesus Christ’s universal call to holiness," Cardinal Burke said.

This approach, the cardinal adds, will greatly aid the Church in her effort to stem the "galloping de-Christianization" of Western society. "I was repeatedly impressed by how deeply Pope Francis has penetrated the national conversation on a whole range of issues," the cardinal observed during a recent trip to the United States. "His special gift of expressing direct care for each and all has resonated strongly with many in my homeland."

In affirming the Church’s timeless teaching on many issues, including her teaching on the indissolubility of marriage, Pope Francis, whose papacy will celebrate its first anniversary on March 13, is showing that he is on the same mission as his predecessors and of the Church — that the faithful should put Christ at the center, and all graces will flow from that.

We should continue to pray that he succeeds.

God bless you!