Papal Priorities

Pope Calls for Church Austerity

Must be those Jesuit roots. On Saturday, Pope Francis gave his clearest indication yet that his papacy will be marked by a focus on austerity and social justice. “I would like a poor church, and for the poor,” he said offhand to a group of reporters. He had been explaining the origins of his papal name, which was inspired by St. Francis of Assisi, who was known for his peaceful nature and sympathy for the needy. His reign seems to be a shift from Benedict's inward-looking papacy, and he has already set a strong moral tone for what is to follow. Everyone, he said, should try to understand the church's “journey in the world” and, most of all, seek “truth, goodness, and beauty.”