In his little noted address to 300 bishops Pope Francis summed up his approach, one which the later Cardinal Joseph Bernardin called the "seamless ethic of life". He has not challenged any doctrines or dogma. But he has changed the tone. For decades the message from U.S. Catholic Bishops has been that the only thing they really care about is abortion, and stopping gay marriage. They have cared less about the victims of sexual misconduct. Their progressive messages about immigrants, the poor, and peace have had a sort of footnote feel: not because the Church has not served the poor - it has - but because the passion was on the culture war issues like refusing Communion to Catholic politicians who departed from the Church on abortion rights. Francis has made clear on his U.S. trip that his view of the gospel is that justice issues are on the top of his list. - gwc
San Diego bishop: Pope's model of church one of transformation | National Catholic Reporter
by Tom Roberts
“The innocent victim of abortion, children who die of hunger or from bombings, immigrants who drown in the search for a better tomorrow, the elderly or the sick who are considered a burden, the victims of terrorism, wars, violence and drug trafficking, the environment devastated by man’s predatory relationship with nature – at stake in all of this is the gift of God, of which we are noble stewards but not masters.”
“I believe what he is telling us,” said McElroy, “is that our notion of the life issues has been impoverished and too truncated. What we’ve done is place them in two hermetically sealed boxes,” one labeled dignity issues and the other life issues.
“He’s saying all of them are life issues,” said McElroy, that economic matters and poverty and the environment are all life issues as well as dignity issues.