Title too flip for the highest Catholic?
Just wait, some hip-hopper will pen a positive rap about Pope Francis. He’s street. He’s of the people, all people. At least in tone, because when I stop swooning and take a look, his policies on church law haven’t changed.
The Pope hasn’t reversed a single issue, birth control, abortion, same-sex marriage, women in the priesthood or divorce (minus his recent change to the annulment process to make it more convenient and less costly) but his soft radically loving tone almost convinces me he has — or that the church will one day.
The Pope even has a receptive audience with some who think God is a hoax. (“15 Surprising Things Atheists Are Saying about Pope Francis”).
As an atheist (not speaking for all of them), I’m a huge fan of this pope. I think people need to find their own reason to be good to others. For some, it is god (whichever flavor he/she/it may be). Others find that they want to be good for other reasons. I’m just glad that the big C found a leader willing to try his best to not just preach to his crowd, but try to show them how. ~ Anonymous
Religion skeptics read this Pope as an empathetic listener rather than a sanctimonious hand-slapper. He says come one come all, embrace each other especially the least among us and in a Christian Nation, atheists are by the denomination pie, one of the least among us.
His language is careful and loving. He doesn’t ask how dare you dis the Vatican? His focus is instead on workable solutions for the poor, the uneducated, the disenfranchised, the ostracized, the misunderstood.
If he scolds it’s to ask, why we ignore so many poor?
In other words, he sounds like Jesus.
Every Pope has a big following but this one has a gift of gently coaxing people into self-reflection, into relying on one’s conscience to guide our actions.
This is as impressive as walking on water.
The world likes Pope Francis. And when we like someone to show respect, we consider their point of view, even as we vote against it.
Pope Francis is making unlikely friendships.
I don’t agree with many of the Catholic laws (I was Methodist now I’m Unitarian Universalist) but I admire Pope Francis for cutting through the pomp and hierarchy and for avoiding divisive language.
He reminds us he’s human, and so he’s not closer to God than you or me or the atheist (should he/she ever want God proximity).
On gay priests Pope Francis said, “Who am I to judge?” Seems a few religion cynics might be saying the same thing about him.
If we get down to it, Pope Francis hasn’t changed his stand on church laws. “The pope has often delivered popular comments on unpopular church policies that sound like realized reforms. But so far no alterations of doctrine have taken place; widespread impressions that the rules have changed haven’t matched reality.” “New York Times, Op-Ed. “The Pope, Catholics and Birth Control.”
He is, though, changing how people talk about views in opposition to church doctrine so I listen, and then I hold out hope for future reform.
The best argument for Christianity is Christians: their joy, their certainty, their completeness. But the strongest argument against Christianity is also Christians–when they are sombre and joyless, when they are self-righteous and smug in complacent consecration, when they are narrow and repressive, then Christianity dies a thousand deaths – Sheldon Vanauken
Well said, Laura. I grew up Roman Catholic and over the years, have grown disenfranchised with the religion for a variety of reasons. You get to the heart of it with this description: “I admire Pope Francis for cutting through the pomp and hierarchy and for avoiding divisive language.” YES! I love his inclusive approach, his values, his personality, his non-judgmental “soft” way with people. And I agree — the Pope IS dope! 🙂
Laura G Owens
Thanks, Lisa. I truly admire Pope Francis’s tone and language. In reality he hasn’t budged on church reform but I think his tone and inclusive language serves a high purpose. He’s followed by millions and so even one sentence out of his mouth can influence how someone considers treating someone who by strict doctrine of the church, has broken a “law”. Maybe he won’t change church law (yet, ever?) but he doesn’t present as the scolding unbending religious leader.