"The change has already arrived."
John Allen refers to it as a revolution underway.
He also points out, "With Francis, what you see is basically what you get."
I knew that.
I find it difficult to find anything online as objective as John Allen or Fr. James Martin, S.J. when it comes to reports on Pope Francis. Otherwise I feel as if I'm caught in some sort of weird vortex, with the same old string of pundits spewing their same old negative crap, labeling and pigeon holing everything and everybody. It's a small, petty, world, isn't it. (EWTN and its affiliates I mean.)
Francis is the solution, not the problem.
Truth to be told, most ordinary folk aren't paying attention to such inside baseball anyway. Vatican watchers may fixate on questions such as who Francis will name as the next cardinal secretary of state, or what changes he'll make at the Institute for the Works of Religion (the Vatican bank), but the only question most people have about a pope is, "Does he inspire?"
For now, the answer seems to be yes. Given all the scandals, bad press and controversy the Catholic church has weathered over the past decade, if that's not a revolution, it's hard to know what one would look like.
In Rome, too, there are clear signs that a new order has already arisen.
Clergy who chafed under what they perceived as a mounting liturgical fastidiousness during the late John Paul II and Benedict years -- showing up for a papal Mass, for instance, only to be told they weren't properly dressed because they weren't sporting enough crimson and lace -- report all that ended in mid-March.
Francis' humbler lifestyle is having a ripple effect. Princes of the church today are more likely to be spotted wearing simple black clerical dress rather than the usual sartorial splendor, and some have begun to sign their names in official correspondence simply as "Don So-and-So," avoiding "His Eminence" or other bits of court nomenclature.
Even beggars who ply their trade around the Vatican have clued in that something has changed. Vatican personnel say that if they spurn a request for spare change today, they're likely to hear back, "Cosa direbbe Papa Francesco?" -- meaning, "What would Pope Francis say?" - John AllenI like that!