Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

Pope Francis: The Legacy of Vatican II

Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

Pope Francis: The Legacy of Vatican II

Article excerpt

Pope Francis: The Legacy of Vatican II BY EDUARDO ECHEVERRIA LECTIO, Z56 PAGES, $29.95

In advance of the 2015 Synod on the Family in Rome, Eduardo Echeverria of Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit published a book aiming to explain the core of Pope Francis's theological vision and to show how that vision is rooted in orthodox theology and the legacy of the Second Vatican Council. The problem Echeverria faces in this book is one confronted by most observers of Roman Catholic affairs today. Francis shows relatively little interest in systematic theological reflection and does not seem to adhere to any major theological school. He borrows rhetoric from theologians across the spectrum, adding his own idiosyncratic jargon, concepts, and mnemonics. As a result of this eclecticism, the ordinary instruments of ecclesiastical analysis and commentary become ineffective. We cannot clearly judge whether Francis, by using the rhetoric of a particular group, is signaling allegiance to that group's aims and ideas or is simply employing available theological language to convey some idea of his own. …

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