Pope Francis is a man with many hopes and aspirations.But most of all he’s a man on a mission. And the mission here being, in his own words, to “repair my church in ruins. ”
Ever since he was elected into “Popedom” in March 2013, Pope Francis has made concerted efforts to come down from the high horse of the pulpit, and associate with the common man in ways that have left indelible impressions in many. Whilst he has not changed fundamental Church doctrine, within a very short period of his election, he has been able to breathe fresh air into how the Church is being perceived both within the flock and without. He is seen in various quarters of society as the people’s Pope, a man who walks the talk, someone who is able to identify with the average man or woman on the street. Whether it’s sneaking out of the Vatican at night to feed the homeless, openly denouncing judgement of homosexuals, or ammending Vatican law to make sexual abuse of children a crime, the new Pope has been increasingly making an impact not just in a jaded Christian institution losing the faithful in droves by the day, but the greater world at large. Time Magazine have voted him Person of the Year 2013, and so has The Advocate, a leading gay rights journal.
Some excerpts from his recent speeches:
“Because Muslims, Hindus and African Animists are also made in the very likeness and image of God, to hate them is to hate God! To reject them to is to reject God and the Gospel of Christ. Whether we worship at a church, a synagogue, a mosque or a mandir, it does not matter. Whether we call God, Jesus, Adonai, Allah or Krishna, we all worship the same God of love. This truth is self-evident to all who have love and humility in their hearts!”
“In the past, the church has been harsh on those it deemed morally wrong or sinful. Today, we no longer judge. Like a loving father, we never condemn our children. Our church is big enough for heterosexuals and homosexuals, for the pro-life and the pro-choice! For conservatives and liberals, even communists are welcome and have joined us. We all love and worship the same God.”
“Racism today is the ultimate evil in the world. When Italians, Spanish or French turn back the boats of African migrants seeking a better life, are they not like the inn keeper who told Mary and Joseph that there was no room for them and the infant Christ? These migrants are children of God and we are commanded to love them!”
“The church no longer believes in a literal hell where people suffer. This doctrine is incompatible with the infinite love of God. God is not a judge but a friend and a lover of humanity. God seeks not to condemn but only to embrace. Like the fable of Adam and Eve, we see hell as a literary device. Hell is merely a metaphor for the isolated soul, which like all souls ultimately will be united in love with God.”
Pope Francis has brought a new face to Christian leadership. And this time it’s one which depicts renewal, resurrection and hope for a truly harmonious world where all people have faith and are able to love and receive love, the kind of love that Jesus Christ talked about. And I’m voting him my Inspiring Personality of the Year 2013! 🙂