The first is from the link to Catholic Charismatic Renewal: Pope Francis and TED: A Revolution of Tenderness. The embedded video of Pope Francis' talk is well worth watching. One thought I had as I watched it was that it represented a wonderful example of the "new evangelisation" in action - it demonstrated a clear intention to speak to a culture and experience that did not necessarily share a living Christian heritage but which would at the same time still recognise the Christian story. The second thought was that it represented a wonderful encounter between Christian life and contemporary culture. I thought it gave a strong insight into Pope Francis and how he sees his calling to the office of the Successor of Peter. [An aside for those familiar with the thought of Fr Edward Holloway and FAITH Movement - look out for Pope Francis' comparison of the inter-relational nature of physical science and the requirement of inter-relationship between persons, beautifully expressed in a comparison between the discovery of the planets that orbit our world to the people that orbit us in every day life.]
The second is an article on the website of Communion and Liberation: ‘If you don’t think Francis is the cure, you don’t grasp the disease’. Fr Carron expresses something of my own conviction that in Pope St John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and now Pope Francis, the Church has at each time been gifted with precisely the Successor of Peter who meets the need of the time. Like Fr Carron, I have found a number of occasions listening to our reading Pope Francis where I have thought "that could have been Benedict".
Far from seeing a rupture between Francis and his immediate predecessors, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, Carrón insists that Francis is actually the “radicalization” of Benedict.
“He says the same thing, but in a way that it gets across to everyone in a simple way through gestures, without in any sense reducing the density of what Benedict said,” he said.
In essence, Carrón’s book is a synthesis of the vision for Christian life that comes from Giussani, as amplified by each of the last three popes. The key idea is that Christianity is about “disarmed beauty,” meaning a way of life that imposes itself through no power other than its own inherent attractiveness.
“I wanted to get across that the power of the faith is in its beauty, its attractiveness,” Carrón said. “It doesn’t need any other power, any other tools or particular situations, to be resplendent, just like the mountains don’t need anything else to take our breath away.”And watching Pope Francis' talk on TED offers something of exactly this attractiveness of faith.