|It's no exaggeration to say we need a leader who can lift our spirits.|
I've got to admit that I really like what I've seen of the new pope. The man appears to be genuinely humble. That's important, especially in an era where the Church has an image of imperious hypocrisy. Here's a man who actually bent down and washed the feet of Italian prisoners the other day and who rode the bus to work when he was a high ranking Churchman in Argentina. I've been an observant Catholic my whole life and I've never seen anything like it.
Of course, I'm probably not going to agree with Pope Francis on all matters. Chances are, if you're a Catholic, you won't either. Thing is, we don't have to agree with him on all things (those who tell you everything the pope says is infallible either don't know what they're talking about or are lying to you). All we Catholics are supposed to do is recognize the pope as the leader of the Church on earth. That and see him as an example of how to lead a Christian life. So far, he's making it quite easy for us to.
The Church has legitimate problems, of course. Horrible scandals have been followed by horrible cover ups. Let's face it, people got away with some terrible stuff. And although we Catholics believe everyone faces an ultimate judgement, we like it when justice is served here on earth, too. Yet I've seen zero evidence that Pope Francis has had anything to do with anything unsavory over the years.The fact the man has a reputation as a reformer gives me hope, as well.
In the end, I very much doubt the new pope will be widely embraced here in Kim Kardashian's America. We're a secular, nearly anti-Christian nation now. I don't see the man being in line with the philosophy of Bill Maher any time soon. Still, right now all we need is a pope who proves his sincerity. It's okay for a religious leader to be criticized for his take on contemporary issues. When that leader's genuine love of people comes into question, however, a real problem arises.
Here's to a pope who can avoid such criticism.