Francis, Quebec secular charter, top Catholic stories of 2013

  • December 25, 2013

Catholic story of 2013 was the retirement of Pope Benedict and the election of Pope Francis as his successor. During the period between those events, the media exploded with a mixture of ill-informed rants about the need for a new pope who would bring the Church “into the 21st century,” particularly on issues related to sexual morality, including same-sex marriage, contraception and abortion.

There was also a great deal of speculation that was understandable. Benedict was, after all, the first pope in almost 600 years to resign. While the official explanation of frail health and declining strength is probably true, it seems likely that problems within the Vatican, such as the Vatileaks scandal, made the challenges of age and health more acute.

In general, the election of Pope Francis was welcomed by the media, with most writers commenting favourably on his preference for simplicity in his own lifestyle, and on his public statements calling for solidarity with the poor and others who are excluded from society. He has often returned to this theme in speeches and in personal greetings to the disabled at general audiences.

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