“To Seek and Find God in All Things”: Interpreting Reactions to Pope Francis’ Recent Interview

A football tailgate, a Sunday homily, over breakfast with an Evangelical friend, between band sets at an Irish pub with a middle-aged lawyer—in the past couple of weeks, it’s been near impossible for me (and for many, I suspect) to avoid conversations marked by delight, disturbance or debate about Pope Francis’s recent interview. This 12,000-word conversation with Jesuit Fr. Antonio Spadaro on behalf of 16 Jesuit publications, which one columnist has called an “extemporaneous encyclical,” continues to reverberate throughout both the Church and media.[1]Pope Francis

Francis’ interview covers a wide range of topics, including his identity as an Argentinian Jesuit, religious faith (and doubt), women in the Church, classical music and film, the Curia, Ignatian spirituality, and the Church’s stance on particular moral issues such as homosexuality, abortion and contraception. Having had a week to observe reactions from inside and outside the Church, it is helpful to step back and consider: Which aspects of Francis’ interview have been emphasized, and by who? Continue reading