I am fascinated on many levels with Pope (Francis). How he is approaching theology, politics and tradition in the context of the Roman Catholic branch of the church.
These are collected points, which I will add to as they arise.
1 Here is a great presentation by James Howell on Pope Francis’ life and work so far.
2 Pope takes mini-bus with other Cardinals after his election, instead of chauffeured Vatican car.
3 Pope refuses to personally judge in a liturgical setting people who are gay.
4 Pope says women will never be Roman Catholic priests.
5 On 500th Anniversary of the Reformations, the Pope travels to Lutheran Sweden, “recognising error and seeking forgiveness”. That is a very, very large step, given the RC tradition still officially sees churches in the Reformed and Orthodox branches as in imperfect relationship with, and not part of, the true church. (However, if baptized, they are seen as Christians.) So this move toward each other, in the RC and Lutheran churches is a 500 year shift.
6 Pope signs joint agreement with Orthodox Church, which brings them closer together but does not address theological and ecclesiological differences that led to the Great Schism of 1054. Still, wow.