tv The Stream Al Jazeera December 5, 2013 12:30pm-1:01pm EST
and thank you for watching al jazeera america. i'm steph. "the stream" is next. ♪ you're in the treatment. fran pope francis is getting wave reviewed but is he a game changer? we break down the pop fourteen francis -- pope francis effect. >> our digital producer wajahat ali is here. keep it coming. waj, catholic or not pope francis is all the buzz now. >> i'm not catholic, but i went
to an all boy's jess wit high school, bellarmine. we have oswald, says he is the hope i have been waiting for. chris on twitter thinks the pope thinks aids is bad, the dogma is old , #yan. we have a different pope and that's it. >> accusing the pope of doing branding. we're going to get into it. what is the pope francis effect? from rome to rio de janeiro, what is the buzz? however his softened language on hot button issues have some evaluating his political impact.
joining us to take a closer look at the pope francis effect is father john guthrie, a member of the clergy for more than 20 years. sister jean grenick, she has been vocal on lgbt issues, a move that got her sanctioned by the church. and he penned an article, what can sarah palin and the gop can learn from pope francis. a four decade low, lack of interest what do you think is the reason for that? >> well i think institutional religion across the board has suffered in recent decades. but i think what's amazing and inspiring about this new pope is, you know, he's really breathing new life into the catholic conversation in a way we haven't seen in quite some time. i think his
emphasis on personal humility, is connecting with people in their hearts in a way we haven't seen in quite some time. >> father john what is this pope francis effect? how would you explain it? >> i think at the time he was elected and announced at the loggia at st. peter's he seemed very shy and he is truly a charismatic figure. somebody in francis he doesn't just talk about the faith, he truly lives it. you see the things that have gone viral, when he goes and he embraces a man who is disfigured from an illness that causes boils, when he stands with a young boy, it's almost like jesus would let the children come to me. those things go viral and i think it sends a message that this pope is really someone who talks about jesus christ and acts like jesus christ.
and there's an attraction and power to that. and i think people are very hungry for that, not just the united states but worldwide. >> sister janine, the being issue is not necessarily translating to american catholics getting back into the pews at church. what do you think about the studies that are coming up? >> well, that could be the case, i mean they're not coming back to the pews in the church but francis is setting the tone to get people to come back to the church we need to have welcoming parishes and francis is saying we need to shake things up. we need to get back to the gospel. we have to stop thinking about things that are doctrine ai
doctrine, we have to follow, we have to participate. we have to be a welcoming community here in the united states. >> it seems like there's skepticism. . >> tremendous skeptic civic. this is good marketing for the catholic church for once she says. latino news hour, sure he has a pr team but his humility in buenos aires, video comment which is very critical from miranda. >> i'm an ex-catholic. i've lived through three popes thution thus far. they were wolves in wolf's clothing, so cuddly sheep's clothing and i say so progressive because the state of beliefs which are on record are anything but
progressive. unfortunately people are buying the facts, which is allowing him to get away with things his predecessors wish they could have. >> they say it's incorporated. what is your response, is this good pr or authentic reform here? >> i think what's interesting is this pope is asking the church to a spirit of reform much like st. francis did. he has put together a council of eight bishops, he is not living the pop lifestyle, he's putting the gospel back at the heart of what the church teaches and preaches and i think that's a very powerful thing. i think it's theng. i think this pope like many
popes he understands how to use visuals and images. but this is a man who when he was archbishop of buenos aires, he has talked about a culture of going out into the street this is a lot of substance not just a pr campaign. >> a lot of americans are intreasing this, it's -- intreasin embracing this. how close are local catholics to the church? >> i think it's a really good point because the church in the united states sometimes we think that as americans we're the only show around. but the pope has to be concerned about the entire church. and so his pastoral embrace is not just for us but for the whole world. and i think that part of the --
when we get into some of the political and progressive conservative right and left categories, those are american categories in some ways political categories. he doesn't think in those terms. he's thinking about the authentic gospel, preaching jesus christ, saying that god is love, and that jesus came from the father to embrace. and that's what he's trying to do. so i think he sees it very much as partly of the 1.2 billion, but his concern is not just about the 1.2 billion catholics. his concern is about every human being. i think that's what resonates and why he's so attractive not just to catholics but to people of every faith and even people who don't have faith, they see something authentic in him because he acts and shows that love. >> janine, these messages of
love are very easy to digest and they do draw people to whoever the message te er is. it may be good to make people feel good but the church or the particular religion is actually giving up a significant section of who it is to please these more friendly messages. >> no quite the contrary. pope francis is going back to the real meaning of christianity. the meaning of christianity is not bureaucracy, it is not a doctrine, it is not strictures on people. the meaning of christianity is, as jesus did, invite people to love, to heal, to have mercy. these are the qualities, the virtues that he is preaching and living.
and so it's not a pr campaign. it's him calling, inviting people to be concerned about the poor, to be concerned about the common good. to let go of our obsessions. and to relax in the love of the lord. >> well sister janine, some lapsed catholics may be hearing this call. here is alex, our own producer here. if it had been pope francis i'm i'd be still catholic no doubt about it. and annime, he is truly acting in a christ-like way, if this keeps up, i might want to be catholic again. >> these are the kind of responses that i'm hearing from people. people say well, i might give church another try.
but as i said earlier i think it's up to the people in the pews and the pastors in the parishes to set a welcoming tone. francis is doing it from the top. but we need people to do it also from the bottom. >> after the break, the pope says stop obsessing about hot button issues. what did he really mean and how >> from our headquarters in new york, here are the headlines this hour. >> al jazeera america is the only news channel that brings you live news at the top of every hour. >> a deal in the senate may be at hand and just in the nick of time. >> thousands of new yorkers are marching in solidarity. >> we're following multiple developments on syria at this hour. >> every hour from reporters stationed around the world and
>> fault lines investigates... fracking >> shale gas development could actually double the economic growth rates in the province. >> this is our land for thousands of years... >> do you drink money? you must have a lot of money to drink... >> as tensions rise, and protests turn violent, where will the debate lead? >> the situation was no longer peaceful or safe... >> they were bashing my head with their boots... they had their guns on me and everything.... >> how much more real can this get? >> fault lines only on al jazeera america >> welcome back. we're talking about the pope francis effect and how the new pope is making waves and the globe, how do you not when you marriage.
there is a lot of talk about what about pope's position is if these topics so we're going to try to clarify. father john what are the positions that the pope has issues? >> first of all he has talked about all these issues and by the way he is not backing away from the traditional teachings of the church. he believes it has to be put in the context of what he feels is the first proclamation, the gospel, the good news. and these teachings are not brought down to make people miserable, they are made to make people free. it's the gospel of jesus. it's important to think when we hear him speak, he is not in any way backing down or changing the teachings of the church that have been handed on, he's just simply putting it in a context where it should be. it's not about rules and regulations. it's all in the context of the love of jesus christ and the
freedom that he wants for us. >> john, clearly, the panel thinks these messages are authentic but do they move away from what caused the church membership to decline? >> well, the pope talked about the need for a new balance in the church and so you know as father john was just discussing that you know pope francis has not changed church teaching but he has really changed the conversation. and so you know, he wants to emphasize the fact that church teaching is much broader on life issue, for example, he talks about member justice as a life issue. you know the commandment thou shalt not kill he talks about that in relationship of an economy of seclusion and equality that kills. that's the pope's words not my own. i think the pope realizes there's been some distorted messages sent out in terms of the whole gospel of life, the
consistent ethic of life and i think he is trying to rebalance that conversation in a powerful way and i think he's been successful on that. >> katherine on twitter says, the pope has a new attitude but not new doctrine. giselle says, let women become catholic priests. and then shift away from hot button topics, the media still guys these ah as quote unquote issues. sister janine, the pope has told the priests to be more quote unquote welcoming. do you see changes happening in your future? >> the change has to come at the local level. the pope has said, we should stop obsessing about gay marriage. now what that would translate in
our culture in the united states is that our united states bishops need to kind of tone down their rhetoric, many and their opposition -- and their opposition to same-sex marriage and instead if they are to practice what the pope is asking us to do, tb welcoming, what -- to be welcoming, what about the situation of catholics and those who are not catholic who work in catholic institutions who are fired because they are lesbian or gay and it has nothing to do with their professional competent tense but they are -- compensates but who the
>> pope now is calling us to practice, the virtue of love the virtue of mercy, the virtue of inclusion not seclusion. for example, we are having a senate on the bishops are having a senate next october on the family. the pope has asked catholics around the world to give feedback on questions of same sex marriage, contraception and divorce and remarriage and in terms of the issue of same sex couples he's asking us how do we welcome children who are in families of same sex couples? here in the united states i'm sad to say we have had bishops who have said, who have if a child has two mothers
or two fathers, they are dismissed from the cliqu fromthe catholic school. that is not what the poem says for us to do, to welcome them into the catholic faith. >> is the pope throwing the bishops and the catholic leaders in the u.s. under the bus? the ones who traditionally stand by the church doctrine who say this is what our church believes and we're going to stand by it and they're being soldiers of the church and the pope is changing the rules, we're not going to emphasize that so much. where does it place the catholic diocese in the us u.s -- u.s.,. >> he talks a lot about collegiality with his brother bishops. he wants to enter into dialogue.
he wants to talk pastorally. this man is at heart a pastor. i was a pastor in my home diocese for 26 years. we are true to the teaching of the church. the teaching of the church is not something we have a vote on and change from one generation to the next. there's growth, there's development but it's consistent with what's been handed on. however he talks about a theology of encounter. a theology of accompaniment. and so as a good pastor, no matter who comes to us, we -- we encounter them as if they were jesus. and we accompany them on their join. that doesn't mean we have to water down our faith to do it. it simply means we have to be the embrace of christ in as they walk their journey. >> but what francis is saying is we don't want to guys the teaching of the church. what we want to guys is the teaching of the gospel, the
teaching of jesus, the teaching of love and mercy and healing. and this is what the conversation needs to be about in our churches. not -- not the teaching of the church. there's two -- i think he's saying there's been too much emphasis on church or institution. we -- and we're trying to i think francis is trying to get us back to the teaching of jesus. >> well sister janine our community is really responding to this theme of social justice, native says look the sprengts a lot difference but the church's message has always been all inclusive. and franny says pope francis is following teaching of character for the poor. jesus according to her was not a capitalist. >> here are a couple of stories that caught our eye. tweet yours with the
we're discussing the pope francis effect and what it means for u.s. politics. so john, looking at the 2012 election, catholics were about a quarter of the electorate, mostly evenly split, democrats, republicans. how much deference do democrats give catholics as a voting block? >> i would say the pope's comments for example on trickle down economics are really going to resonate in the conversation. the pope is, we shouldn't try to politicize the holy father, but
we have a debate going on right now in washington about billions of dollars being cut from food stamps. we have fast food workers who are not making a living wage, if you look at the pope's words, criticizing trickle down economics, for example, trickle down economics is sort of a theology for some on the political right including speaker john boehner, paul ryan and other catholics in congress who don't really seem to pay much attention to church teaching when it comes to economic justice and the role of deposit. so even today president obama referenced pope francis on a major speech on inequality. i think this pope is breaking through with a moral message that's going to have an impact on our political debate. >> ster janine how is his message playing in political circles? >> his message basically i think
he says it very well in his apostolic letter that he issued a few weeks ago where he says if a person, those who are rich if they do not share their goods they're really stealing from the poor. he talking about the common good, that the earth and the goods of the earth are for all of us. and we need to be concerned, and share what we have. and i think this message, really, is getting through to all of us. politicians included, to wake us up, to prick our conscience. and you know, that's what he is doing. he is pricking our conscience. to think about the things that we haven't thought about before. >> well sister on twitter steve says you know what, the pope knows his comments are popular in this aiming of austerity he makes them to deflect from a
scandal ridden society, in my christian religion faith encompasses everything and informs your whole life including politics. of course it does. and franco says, will the favor be returned? all right father we're going to go with this has the church stayed out of the political sphere and the question is, should it? >> well, absolutely. i think that we have -- we're not politicians and the pope is not a politician who wants to get involved in the minutiae and the in and out of politics. the dignity of human life, our message we hope will have an effect on both political parties. one of the things -- i think it's very important to remember, that pope francis is simply continuing the teachings we have from pope john xxiii, from pope
paul rick mannin pall vi, how we treat the least. the pure yes, absolutely. but also the unborn, also the poor and the -- those are the marginalized immigrants. so this cuts across a lot of different terrain and really is not just about a challenge to one political party or another. it's a challenge to all political parties. and to everybody that votes. his challenge is to really say, what is it really mean to be a christian and how am i going to take those values and make a difference to make this society and this world a better more peaceful more just place. >> so john the church may not be intentionally political but it most certainly has a political impact and the pope certainly has a political impact in the u.s. what do you see the downstream
effect being of his influence and charisma in the u.s. in term >> i think this pope speaks with real authenti authenticity. the comments that he's making right now on capitalism and the need to regulate our markets in a prudent way go back a very long way. and as father said that's traditional church teaching really -- >> i have to stop you john right there, thanks to our guests this evening, we will see the rest of you online.