Plane Speaking

I tend to not post many articles on Pope Francis as I do not think that should be the entire focus of this website.  However, I found this one gave some good background to the practice of the pope to hold press conferences on papal flights, usually when they are returning to Rome.  And of course, we all know what came out of the most recent press conference on the flight back to Rome from Mexico City.  The traditionalist/conservative elements of the Church who look for anything that PF does to criticize, take particular exception to his holding these press conferences.  This article puts the press conferences into much needed context.  Much of this I knew from bits and pieces I have picked up elsewhere but I was glad to see a prominent Vatican journalist put this all together.  By the way, Gerald O’Connell, the author of this piece, is the husband of Elisabetta Pique, the author of one of the more prominent biographies of the pope, Pope Francis: Life and Revolution.  They are both close friends of the pope who has baptized both of their children.  It would not surprise me that O’Connell may be doing a favor for his friend in writing this piece…..Reyanna

By Gerald O’Connell                 March 14, 2016          America Magazine on-line

After Pope Francis’ recent press conference during the plane trip from Ciudad Juárez in Mexico to Rome, some commentators in the United States, Italy and the United Kingdom suggested that he should abandon this practice.

One asserted that his words “are, at best, confusing”—for example, regarding the morality of contraception in the context of the Zika epidemic—adding that Francis is “wrong to use interviews as a regular facet of his public ministry.” Others claim he misspoke on Donald J. Trump.

What they fail to recognize is that Francis is reaching a global audience, far beyond the Catholic Church, in a way no pope in history has done. He is doing so in a totally free, credible way that shuns politically correct discourse and comes across as a humble, normal person, which adds to his credibility with people of all faiths and none.

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