Since the first day of his papacy (Pope-hood) began, Pope Francis has been nothing short of amazing. Francis, or Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was born and raised in Argentina, making him the first Pope from either of the Americas and the first Pope from the Southern Hemisphere.
Because of his actions during his papacy, Francis has improved the image of the church and represents a better church than before. Francis has shown his caring side and is truly a great leader for the Catholics of the world. He is much better at his job than his predecessor, Pope Benedict.
This pope is exceptional is ways no other pope has ever been. Francis has held jobs that make him relatable to the everyman of this world. In Argentina, Francis held a job as a club bouncer, which automatically gives him cool points. He also held jobs as a chemical technician and a floor sweeper.
Additionally, the Pope even favors living in the simple Vatican guesthouse, and not the more luxurious Papal apartments. Francis chooses to live without unnecessary clutter, which brings a fresh new feel to the position of Pope. His wardrobe is noticeably void of extra ornamentation. Normally Popes wear a gold pescatory ring as part of their everyday outfit, but Francis opted for a silver, less lavish, one instead.
Francis has shown remarkable concern for the poor of the church. According to Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, the Pope will often accompany him into Rome at night to minister as a seemingly ordinary priest. Also, after the destruction left by typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, Francis led a group of some 60,000 people in prayer for relief for the victims of the disaster. Examples like these show Francis’ caring side, which Pope Benedict rarely showed.
In November, when a group of around 600 disabled persons who had gone to Lourdes, France in search of miraculous recovery came to visit the Vatican, Francis personally greeted each person. In the first year of being Pope, Francis has made one of his primary initiatives for the cause of the less fortunate to be made aware to the public. Also in November, Francis publicly embraced a man who was covered in boils. Such acceptance brings a kind of peace to the church which has gone through much controversy in recent years.
When Francis spoke to new bishops in Rome in September, he stated that, “We pastors must not be men with a ‘princely mindset.’” The new Pope has demonstrated through his own choices that he wishes to return the Church to its original ideals without any of the extra frills that some priests have come to love. Outfits worn by priests have become increasingly ornate, with expensive mitres, pectoral crosses, and crucibles.
On the subject of gay marriage, Francis has made a few memorable and progressive remarks. In an interview for Jesuit magazines, Francis was quoted as saying that the church has the rights to express its opinions, but that it cannot “interfere spiritually” in the lives of homosexual people, which displays his understanding and compassion. The Pope also answered, when asked about a gay priest, “Who am I to judge them if they’re seeking the Lord in good faith?” These remarks have helped his image as progressive and free-thinking.
Finally, Pope Francis has a Twitter. Actually, he has eight different Twitters in eight different languages, so that followers can get connected with him, even if they do not speak his native language. Francis even takes selfies with those fortunate enough to get by his side.
Clearly Pope Francis has made great strides in improving the lives of devoted Catholics everywhere. With his relatable background and his philinthropic attitude, Francis’s appointment has been nothing short of a miracle. The furture looks bright for the Catholic Church with Francis at the helm.