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A Year in Review with Bishop Zubik and Local Members of the Catholic Church

It has been a year since Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik discussed the state of the Catholic Church with Essential Pittsburgh. In that time, Pope Francis has celebrated his one year anniversary.

When Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio took the name Francis, the Sisters of St. Francis of the Providence of God in Whitehall expressed their hopes and expectations of the new pontiff. This year Sister Margaret “Peg” Markey and Sister Nancy Langhart reflected on the last year of Vatican leadership.

"I really am hoping for a big reform," said Sister Markey "I have a lot of good feeling about Pope Francis. I had good feelings about the other Popes too, but he's just such a more natural kind of person. And his call for us to live according to the name that he chose, Francis. You know as Franciscans we are tying to really live a simple life and that's not easy in our age. It's really hard not to be a conspicuous consumer. So I hope that our church can do that. I hope that our church can be much more accepting of gays and homosexuals. I hope that our church can accept people who are divorced and remarried. I hope that our church can accept and understand homosexuality."

Sister Markey said, “Really impressed by his simplicity, happy to see so many of the robes and things taken away.” “A few of the things that he has said, makes me wonder

Responding to these remarks, Bishop Zubik said, “I think that one of the things we really have to see about the Pope is that I think there’s a lot of misunderstanding that lead people to think that he’s made some major changes in what the Church believes in and that really hasn’t happened and I don’t think that’s going to happen either down the road. I think what he’s basically done because of his own demeanor as a pastor, he speaks a language that we all can understand. I’d like to say that when we take a look at, soon to be Saint, Pope John Paul II, he was a philosopher and so everything that John Paul II wrote and how he spoke was as a philosopher. Pope Benedict was a theologian and everything that he wrote and said was spoken as a theologian and Pope Francis is a pastor. And so he says things the way people can easily understand. He speaks the language of the people.”

But Bishop Zubik does note there has been a change.

“There has been a major sea-change, I think, in the way that people see the Pope. When Pope Francis came out onto the balcony on March 13th of last year and took the name of Francis and did so with a simple white cassock, people began to see there was a change. And I think over the course of the entire year, anytime the Pope has addressed people in public he’s called us all to take a look at the fact that there really only is one judge, who is God.”

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