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Catholics Perk Up To Pope Francis

As a shot in the dark, this week I asked my rather large Facebook audience whether any of them were lapsed Catholics thinking about tiptoeing back to the church based on the recent comments of Pope Francis, who talked about rebalancing the church's priorities with possibly less emphasis on what he called an obsession with abortion, contraception and same-sex marriage.

The responses I got surprised me just a little. 

Credit Sumilla Luz on Flickr Creative Commons
Pope Francis visits 2013 World Youth Day, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Ex-Catholics are maybe a little angrier than I expected.

Many of them said they'd need a lot more than one man saying a few nice things.

Still others said they were so much happier where they wound up that they'd never consider coming back.

In fact, never-Catholics -- in my unscientific survey -- seemed a lot more inspired by Pope Francis than were lapsed Catholics. So today, we're delving a little deeper, with some interesting guests.


  • Bishop Peter Rosazza, is a member of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee for Social Development and World Peace, liaison with Brazilian Catholics for the Committee on Migration and Refugees and is the Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus for the Archdiocese of Hartford
  • Michael Sean Winter, is the author of Left at the Altar: How the Democrats Lost the Catholics and How the Catholics Can Save the Democrats and a columnist for National Catholic Reporter
  • Margaret Galiardi, is former Executive Director of the Spiritual Life Center in West Hartford and the author of two books, Encountering Mystery in the Wilderness: One Women’s Vision Quest and Where the Pure Water Flows: the Universe Story and Christian Faith. Margaret is Dominican Sister from Amityville NY who is currently based on LI. She lectures and gives retreats around the country.
  • Maria Johnson, host of Reasonably Catholic: Keeping the Faith, which airs over the Wesleyan and University radio stations.

Please leave your comments below, email us at colin@wnpr.org, or tweet us @wnprcolin.

Colin McEnroe is a radio host, newspaper columnist, magazine writer, author, playwright, lecturer, moderator, college instructor and occasional singer.
Chion Wolf is the host of the radio show and podcast 'Audacious' on Connecticut Public.
Betsy started as an intern at WNPR in 2011 after earning a Master's Degree in American and Museum Studies from Trinity College. She served as the Senior Producer for 'The Colin McEnroe Show' for several years before stepping down in 2021 and returning to her previous career as a registered nurse. She still produces shows with Colin and the team when her schedule allows.
Patrick Skahill is a reporter and digital editor at Connecticut Public. Prior to becoming a reporter, he was the founding producer of Connecticut Public Radio's The Colin McEnroe Show, which began in 2009. Patrick's reporting has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered. He has also reported for the Marketplace Morning Report. He can be reached by phone at 860-275-7297 or by email: pskahill@ctpublic.org.

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