Saturday, December 20, 2014

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Religion Professor on the Impact of Pope Francis

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Rochester: Religion Professor on the Impact of Pope Francis
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"It's extraordinary that in such a short period of time that this man has generated so much energy and affection."

It hasn't been a year since the white smoke cleared the Sistine Chapel, but Pope Francis has already managed to rejuvenate the Catholic Church.

University of Rochester religion studies professor Curt Cadorette says Pope Francis is working to make the church more inclusive.

"He's made it clear he wants the church to be transparent. He wants the church to be accessible. He wants the church to be an open institution. "

Cadorette says as a part of the Pope's effort to create a welcoming and friendly environment, he's made a few changes. Pope Francis removed a conservative Cardinal from a Vatican committee. Cardinal Raymond Burke was replaced with a more moderate and less traditionalist Cardinal.

"Cardinal Burke was more than conservative. He was very conservative and he was outspoken and fairly aggressive."

Aggressive when it came to issues like same-sex marriage and abortion. Cadorette says his removal was an effort to move those social issues out of the forefront of the church.

"The church has made itself clear on those issues and it need not repeat itself and it need not focus itself exclusively those social issues. The church should be open to people without distinction."

While the church hasn't changed its overall doctrine, Cadorette says other changes could be on the way.

"You can anticipate a much more progressive tone when it comes to economic issues," Cadorette said. "We have to look at the economic system that created the injustices in Argentina, Europe. This is a moral, ethical issue that has to be addressed. "

Cadorette says it's another step to make the church more inclusive. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP