What do we expect of Pope Francis?

LaCrosse Tribune

By Mike Tighe | mtighe@lacrossetribune.com

Easter signals a new beginning unlike any other, and it takes on additional meaning this year, as the Catholic Church enters the season with a new leader.

Much has been said about the firsts for the cardinal from Argentina: the first pope from the Western Hemisphere, the first Jesuit, the first Francis.

As speculation swirls about what Pope Francis’ first actions might be as he settles into the Vatican, the Tribune surveyed some Coulee Region residents on what they expect from the new pontiff.

The theologians

Pope Francis must address the Vatican’s sexual abuse and financial scandals to restore people’s faith in the Catholic Church, theology professor Michael Lopez-Kaley says.

“He has got to clean up the scandals of the church first,” said Lopez-Kaley of Viterbo University in La Crosse.

“I think there is a lack of confidence that the bishops are really serious” about the clergy’s sexual abuse cases, he said. “The pope definitely needs to state: You guys have to get serious about this and turn in the priests who are involved.”

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