By Mark Abrams
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Scholars, the clergy and the faithful are still digesting what some are calling the “road map for the future of the catholic church” released earlier this week in Rome by Pope Francis.
Rocco Palmo, a Philadelphia-based journalist who covers the Vatican and Catholic Church issues, says the pope’s work titled “The Joy of the Gospel,” is his blueprint for how he wants to transform the church.
Palmo says Francis writes from the heart — that he wants to create a more “missionary church” in which people feel welcome:
“Will it be taken up so that someone who’s been away from the church or isn’t Catholic who wants to be part of this at ground level, will they feel that same welcome in a parish, in a diocese that they’re sensing from Francis through TV or media from 5,000 miles away? That’s the million-dollar question here.”
Palmo points out that Francis is already letting it be known he plans to shake up the management of the Vatican:
“I’ve heard it from very good sources that at least one woman is probably going to end up being in a position that, until now, has been held by a Cardinal and will head a Vatican office, head a Vatican cabinet department which has never happened before, nowhere close in the life of the church.”
And Palmo says Francis wants a re-focus on the outreach to help the poor, the elderly, the forgotten and the persecuted.