Thursday, July 25, 2013


Pope Francis crossed paths with Archbishop Romero in a Rio de Janeiro slum:

(Here's the scoop.)

Pope Francis greets residents of the Manginhos favela in Rio de Janeiro under the gaze of a giant Oscar Romero poster.
The Pope of the Poor and the Bishop of the Poor.

Before entering the soccer field, a woman presented the Pontiff a smaller facsimile of the giant Romero poster, which the Pope put his hand over, nodding and speaking briefly to the woman who presented it.

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Footnote: for clarification, the use of terms like “Church of the Poor,” “Pope of the Poor,” “Bishop of the Poor” in this blog are meant in an Evangelical sense—to the degree we all aspire to be ‘poor in Spirit’ (Mt. 5:3), to the extent all our popes are shepherds of the poor.  We reject, as Archbishop Romero rejected, a “demagogic” sense for these terms.  Romero explained the distinction this way:
The other day one of these people who proclaims liberation in a political sense was asked: ‘For you, what is the meaning of the Church?’ He answered with these scandalous words: ‘There are two churches, the church of the rich and the church of the poor. We believe in the church of the poor but not in the church of the rich.’ Clearly, these words are a form of demagogy and I will never admit a division of the Church. There is only one Church, the Church that Christ preached, the Church to which we should give our whole hearts… (Nov. 11, 1979 Sermon.)

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