Pope Francis is the best thing to happen to the Catholic Church this year. The Church is in its downest this modern era with the abundance of sex and financial scandals, of convertion to other sects or faiths, of losing appeal to the people, of losing its relevance to the poor, of hypocrisy and of many other ills. Yes, my Church is very sick and the new leader is the much needed shot-in-the-arm.
Radical in his leadership style and lifestyle, rarity are the likes of Pope Francis. His departure from the entrenched subculture, formalities and protocols in the Vatican are the very examples which ordinary Catholics want to see. If your Pope takes a cheap car for his ride, will you mind taking a public transport? Will you still want a car if you know he used to take the subway despite already a cardinal? If he pays his bill personally, calls the newspaper boy by himself and sleeps in a simple room, will you surround yourself with servants or stay in mansions while others are homeless nor can afford to have meals? He shunned gold and the red shoes. He took an open pope mobile instead of the bullet-proof one. And did you see him disembark in Buenos Aires airport recently? Did you see him carry a suitcase? I did and i think that was “wow!!!”
The Church was losing its credibility because the followers saw how hypocrisy has wormed its way into the hearts of the priests who were supposed to practice what they preach. How can you swallow their preachings against adultery, bigamy, and premarital sex when you know that your parish priest has a son or a daughter? How can you not be corrupt when funds and collections are not audited? When donation for church repair are realigned to other expenses? Will you believe “father” when he says gambling is a sin when you very well know that he breeds game fowls?
Unlike the ancient times, secrets are impossible to hide these days. We are living in an exposed world and in a world where people should walk their talk. Hypocrisy is the sin that has consumed many members of the clergy and has caused masses of people from going to other sects.
The Jesuit Pope seems to have been sent by heaven to help the sick Church get back on its feet. Gone is the era of popes who are more like kings if not gods who are ensconced atop ivory towers. Age it is today of the pope whom people can identify themselves with, who is more human than divine. Pope Francis is so relevant to the time. He is paving the way. I pray that the next one will be open to the idea of women priests and same-sex marriage. Pope Francis is my pope.