Pope Francis and Simone Campbell's recent books have much in common. Yet the standoff between U.S. sisters and the Vatican continues.
The United States and the Catholic Church share some intriguing similarities: both are global in reach, exert significant influence over hundreds of millions of people, and (perhaps most interestingly) make serious teleological claims. Such claims have not necessarily clashed, for they appeal to different social and moral aspects of humanity. At their best, they can be complementary empires of promise.
As Francis sees it, the joy of the gospel is rooted in an experience of God's love in Jesus. And this gospel gets people involved in the world's messiness.
The meeting of Benedict and Francis, characterized in the media as "potentially problematic," was in fact dramatically unproblematic.
If we take the Christian story seriously, the pope's burdens are not his alone to bear. They are shared by everyone united with him in prayer.