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Issue 16 – Easter 2023

The Publisher's Desk

The Publisher's Desk

On the future of the Church.


Just as we were wrapping up the Easter 2023 edition of The Lamp this March, Pope Francis entered the tenth year of his pontificate. All over the world, Catholics and non-Catholics alike reflected on the last decade, which began so full of hope, and whose promise has been, for many, frustrated. Our editor argues (see page 19) that Francis’s most lasting legacy will not be any practice that he instituted or restricted, but rather a simple, moving act he performed in May 2020, as rain poured down on a completely shuttered Rome. At that time, Francis walked the streets, praying for the whole world, “reciting ancient prayers against plague while shrouded in an otherworldly blue light.” (For a less noble incident from 2020, see Peter Hitchens on John le Carré’s death on page 37.)

Reflections on the past almost inevitably lead to predictions about the future. Massimo Faggioli looks beyond Francis (see page 15) by considering a curious similarity he shares with his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI. Both popes, in their separate ways, allowed for the re-emergence of groups that were marginalized in the post–Vatican II consensus associated with Pope John Paul II, the Church’s version of Francis Fukuyama’s End of History. All of the questions that were thought answered in the middle of the last century are being asked again, and “understanding this new beginning of history is more important than any speculation about who is going to be the next pope.”

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