Here’s what I think: the world needs to listen to dear ol’ Pope Francis (Pope Frank, as I like to call him) a little more.
I don’t know if you all have heard about him or not, but he’s a pretty cool guy, to put it lightly. Our current Pope has been in the Vatican for right at a year (March 13) and has already turned the Catholic world upside down (in a good way!).
Before you start making assumptions, no, this is not my shot at gay rights or anything like that – this is probably not the place for that conversation. This is my shot at trying to make the world a better place.
We are to love one another as we love ourselves and promote well-being and happiness, not condemn and judge each other (yes, I know I’m guilty of this–it’s something I’m working on). In the spirit of the Lenten season, I hope you’ll try to work on it too.
Here are some utterly awesome Pope Frank quotes to make you think… Enjoy!
“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” — Interview aboard the Papal Plane after World Youth Day in Brazil.
“ “Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?” We must always consider the person.” — Interview with Jesuit Catholic journals around the world.
“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context…We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel.” — Interview with Jesuit Catholic journals around the world.
“Just as the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say “thou shalt not” to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills. How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?” — Apostolic Exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel.
“Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.” — Apostolic Exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel
“Those who today always look for disciplinarian solutions, those who long for an exaggerated doctrinal “security,” those who stubbornly try to recover a past that no longer exists — they have a static and inward-directed view of things. In this way, faith becomes an ideology among other ideologies. I have a dogmatic certainty: God is in every person’s life. God is in everyone’s life. Even if the life of a person has been a disaster, even if it is destroyed by vices, drugs or anything else — God is in this person’s life.” — Interview with Jesuit Catholic journals around the world.
“One of the more serious temptations which stifles boldness and zeal is a defeatism which turns us into querulous and disillusioned pessimists, sourpusses.” — Apostolic Exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel
“Instead of being just a church that welcomes and receives by keeping the doors open, let us try also to be a church that finds new roads, that is able to step outside itself and go to those who do not attend Mass, to those who have quit or are indifferent. The ones who quit sometimes do it for reasons that, if properly understood and assessed, can lead to a return. But that takes audacity and courage.” — Interview with Jesuit Catholic journals around the world
“A good Catholic doesn’t meddle in politics.’ That’s not true. That is not a good path. A good Catholic meddles in politics.” (Morning homily at the Pope’s residence, Casa Santa Marta.)
Agree or disagree, one thing is for sure: Pope Francis is in the right place at the right time, and I have every ounce of faith that he is doing what he was put on this earth to do. I hope (and believe) he can, and will, make a difference.
Editor’s Note: As I was so kindly told my by coworker, this month is Red Cross Blood Month. Please find it in your heart and time on your calendar to donate blood. It doesn’t take very long, unless you’re like me and like to pass out, and is painless, but to some people it could mean the world.