So Pope Francis is touring the country this week and as usual the media is tripping all over themselves to find something, anything, sensational to talk about. The big kerfuffle of the moment is that the Pope is being “political” because he mentions things like immigration and climate change in his statements.
Well color me astonished that a world-renowned figure got a little political while visiting our nation’s Capital, a place where people literally eat, breath and sleep politics. Big whoop.
The Pope is not running for office, nor is he setting policy so why should I care what his politics are? Sure, that he seems not to understand the difference between free markets and crony capitalism is annoying and his refusal to mention abortion while touching on every other hot button issue during his speech to Congress left me a bit puzzled.
I am not a Catholic however and so am not bothered by the religious differences I have with this Pope, I am also not a Liberal and therefore I don’t care that I disagree with him politically.
What I do care about and am completely inspired by is Pope Francis’s passion for the untouchables, those who because of illness, disability or extreme poverty are cast out, living on the fringes where few dare to go.
It’s scenes like the Pope openly embracing a man with severe leprosy, or stopping his motor brigade to tend to a disabled person that leave me in awe. Even just a simple gesture such as yesterday when he turned down a meal with the Washington elite in favor of dining with the homeless, says much about this remarkable man. Surely the Holy Spirit is alive in him.
It’s authentic you know, this Pope’s eagerness to roll up his sleeves and get down with the nitty gritty. It’s what people are responding to and why he’s so popular. It is for me anyway.
Of course American politicians being who they are, there are those who will attempt to use the Pope as a way to further their political causes. They care nothing about his humbleness and certainly not at all for the teachings of his Church, which they are openly at war with. The Pope I’m sure knows this and graciously abstains from calling them out.
Pope Francis is a man of mercy and grace, the perfect spiritual leader for our times. This deserves honor.
Photo credit: http://www.catholic.org/prwire/headline.php?ID=11538