Thursday, September 19, 2013

"This Is How It Is" – In Mega-Interview, Francis Lowers the Boom. Again.

Another day... another gift from above – or, at least, Room 201 at the Domus.

Early on in this pontificate, a caller to the office of Civiltà Cattolica – the authoritative Italian Jesuit journal vetted by the Holy See before it goes to press – asked to speak with the magazine's editor, Fr Antonio Spadaro.

Spadaro was out, but the Pope tracked him down on his mobile. And now, the priest-scribe – above, with his confrere – has landed a coup for the ages: a 10,000-word interview with Francis published this morning by the 16 journals overseen by the Society of Jesus around the world.

Beyond being merely conspicuous, the timing of the latest bombshell from the wildly candid Jesuit Pope effectively signals the start of Francis' full-bore dive into matters of governance and the church's internal life, a movement which will kick into top gear with Papa Bergoglio's inaugural meeting with his hand-picked "Super 8" commission of cardinal-advisers, scheduled for 1-3 October.

Touching on issues ranging from sin, sexuality, the Curia and the pre-Conciliar liturgy to family, politics, books and film, the English rendering of the conversation – six hours in total, conducted over three sessions in August – is available via the UK's Thinking Faith and the US' America magazine. On its release today, Spadaro called the encounter "one of the most beautiful spiritual experiences of my life." 

Francis approved the original Italian text of the interview before its translation in the relevant languages.

As the story begins to blow up the news-cycle, you will want to read the full text. Repeat: you will want to read the full text, so have at it.