Liturgy 33.2: Pastoral Liturgy and Pope Francis

Issue 33.2 of Liturgy, Pastoral Liturgy and Pope Francis, was guest edited by Katherine E. Harmon. Katharine E. Harmon is Assistant Professor of Theology at Marian University in Indianapolis, Indiana, and author of There Were Also Many Women There: Lay Women in the Liturgical Movement in the United States, 1926-59 (Liturgical Press, 2013).

Here is an excerpt from her introduction to this issue:

"Whom do we see when we look at Pope Francis? Francis may be the pope no one envisioned: a Jesuit from the Southern Hemisphere who took the name Francesco and who likes the “smell of the sheep.” What would such a pope’s attitude be toward pastoral and liturgical questions? Some Roman Catholics expected extensive ecclesial changes, such as removal of the requirement for clerical celibacy, or shifting strategies in the church’s view on divorce. Others have bemoaned Francis’ lack of high “liturgical style,” and have wondered at his bending to wash the feet of women and Muslims. Does such an unexpected pope please no one?

In this issue of Liturgy, seven authors from diverse perspectives reflect upon Pope Francis, the expectations placed upon him, and the visions the pope has laid forth regarding liturgical and pastoral practices for the faithful."

1 Pope Francis, “Chrism Mass Homily,” (accessed March 28, 2013). In this homily, Pope Francis instructs priests in the following manner: “This I ask you: be shepherds, with the ‘odour of the sheep,’ make it real, as shepherds among your flock, fishers of men.”

2 See Jean Vanier et al., “Great Expectations,” US Catholic Historian 78, no. 5 (2013): 17–22.


3 Brian Roewe, “Election Raises Alarm for Some Latin Mass Fans,” National Catholic Reporter 49, no. 12 (2013): 10. For a constructive view of Pope Francis’ approach to foot washing, see Thomas O’Loughlin, “From a Damp Floor to a New Vision of Church: Footwashing as a Challenge to Liturgy and Discipleship,” Worship 88, no. 2 (2014): 137–50.

David Turnbloom