Reflections on Pope Francis and His Impact on His Fourth Anniversary

Here are a few of the numerous articles reflecting on Pope Francis’ four years as pope:

A Crux rundown of memorable moments from Francis’s first four years: “Hearing the Holy Father speak aloud the words “the land of the free and the home of the brave” from the dais of the U.S. Congress in September 2015 was an unexpectedly emotional occasion for me. Despite such bitter polarization in recent years, here was the leader of the Catholic Church bringing political leaders from both sides of the aisle together in a rare moment of genuine joy and enthusiasm that no State of the Union could come close to matching! In that address, Francis used the occasion to recast the American Dream through the lens of Catholic social teaching. It proved to be an occasion to reconsider what’s best about America-and I hope it served as an examination of conscience for the entire nation. (Christopher White)”

Cardinal Cupich: Francis is giving new life to Vatican II reforms by Joshua McElwee: “The hopes and the joys. But also, the struggles, the sorrows that people have. He is united with them. The church claims to be an expert in humanity, and an expert about humanity. I think that the pope is really trying to, in many ways, express the aspirations of humanity but also the challenges it faces today, much like the document Gaudium et spes did. That’s how I would sum it up.”

Pope Francis’ fourth anniversary: will the reforms work? by Michael Sean Winters: “We have had four years in which the universal pastor of the church has unrelentingly called attention to the plight of the poor. Could a future pope turn his back on the Global South and the poverty of the people there in order to make nice with the wealthy of the West? Is it conceivable that a future pope would join forces with the movements of political reaction and national chauvinism, turning his back on the plight of migrants and refugees?”

Pope Francis: Top 10 Most Important Moments by Wyatt Massey: “In “Laudato Si,’” the pope criticized consumerism, discussed the effects of climate change on the poor and grounded his argument deeply in the Bible and church tradition. The encyclical, published June 18, 2015, officially added teaching on the environment to the body of Catholic Social Teaching.”

Highlights of Year 4 by OSV: “Upon receipt of the International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen in recognition of his work to promote European unification in early May, Pope Francis asks of the continent: “What has happened to you, the Europe of humanism, the champion of human rights, democracy and freedom?””

Four years on, Francis’s pastoral revolution is the heart of it all Austen Ivereigh: “Its impact may be deep and wide-ranging, but the essence of the Francis reform, clearly visible after four years, is a re-focussing on the Church’s pastoral mission to humanity.”