Faith and the Common Good
By Greg Metzger

I believe that where Pope Benedict grew attention from theologians in the Christian world, the new pope will be an object of admiration and analysis for those involved in the missional action of the Church. What a cursory examination of Cardinal Bergoglio’s career demonstrates is a profound desire to see the gospel unleashed as Good News for all, and a willingness to stand in prophetic word and action to bring that Gospel to all. Here are some of the highlights from speeches and articles.

From a February 2012 interview with Vatican Insider:

the entire continent is a missionary state…the paradigmatic aspect remains: all ordinary activities of the Church take place in view of the mission. This signifies very strong tensions between centre and periphery, between parish and district. We need to come out of ourselves and head for the periphery. We need to avoid the spiritual sickness of a Church that is wrapped up in its own world: when a Church becomes like this, it grows sick. It is true that going out onto the street implies the risk of accidents happening, as they would to any ordinary man or woman. But if the Church stays wrapped up in itself, it will age. And if I had to choose between a wounded Church that goes out onto the streets and a sick withdrawn Church, I would definitely choose the first one…

We seek to make contact with families that are not involved in the parish.  Instead of just being a Church that welcomes and receives, we try to be a Church that comes out of itself and goes to the men and women who do not participate in parish life, do not know much about it and are indifferent towards it. We organise missions in public squares where many people usually gather: we pray, we celebrate mass, we offer baptism which we administer after a brief preparation. This is the style of the parishes and the diocese itself. Other than this, we also try to reach out to people who are far away, via digital means, the web and brief messaging.”

Read the rest of the article here.