What I know about the new Pope

The word ‘historic’ is tossed around a lot. People use it to describe a new iPhone unveiling or an updated Facebook layout. This, however, is a truly historic moment that any human being ought to appreciate. Cardinal Bergoglio from Argentina, now Pope Francis, will be the first pope from the Americas. You will find that many people on Facebook and the media have magically become instant experts on this man. They weren’t aware of his existence 40 minutes ago and now they know everything about him. And, likely, they’ve come to the determination that he is a bad, evil comic book villain bent on world domination. Because he is the leader of the Catholic Church they have, of course, started with the premise that he’s Dr. Evil and will now skim his Wikipedia page to find whatever justification they can for that prejudice.

Well, I don’t claim to be a biographer of the guy. I know a little about him, and I’ll continue to learn from legitimate sources as the days go by. What I know is this: He’s the first non-European pope in over 1300 years. He’s a humble and kind man. His humility is authentic. Much like Benedict, he was not at all eager to be given this position. He does not worship himself or think himself entitled to his new status. I know that I watched him bow his head in front of the crowd and ask for their blessing. I know he, as an archbishop, chose to take a bus to work. He chose to live in a small apartment without maids, cooks, or servants. When he went to Rome to be ordained a Cardinal, he asked his flock in his country not to come and to instead give their travel money to the poor. He is orthodox and “conservative” on “social issues”. In other words, he’s not going to abandon the moral teachings of Christianity just because a bunch of people on Twitter think he should. He’s known for being very compassionate towards the poor. He’s known to be someone who lives the words of Corinthians 13. I’m aware of one anecdote I read a few years ago about a visit he made to a hospital. While there, he got on his knees, kissed and washed the feet of 12 AIDS patients. He takes strong, unwavering positions and reinforces them with love and humility. He leads by example.


And these are all very good things.


That’s what I know.

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6 Responses to What I know about the new Pope

  1. Love this. Thanks for another fantastic post!

  2. Milly Thomas says:

    I’m not Catholic, but have nothing but respect for this man and the way he lives out his faith. He may be just the leadership the Church needs, and set a good example what true Christianity is all about! Thxx for addressing this “historic” occasion with truth.

  3. Glen says:

    Is he going to do anything about the child sex abuse that continues to be endemic in the Catholic church to this day?

    I care more about that than whether or not he gets the bus to work.

  4. St Catherine of Sienna says:

    I don’t know Glen. Are protestant leaders going to “do” anything about the rampant child sex abuse problem in the protestant churches? Statistically a far greater problem than the Catholic Church Priest scandals.) Are public school officials going to “do” anything about the problem of child sex abuse that eclipses the Catholic or protestant church scandals?? The Catholic Church is the only entity held accountable and the only entity that has been responsible in dealing with the infiltration of evil that seeks to bring Her down. Good luck with that…

  5. Odd that the reaction of the media has been the complete opposite of this in every way.

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