On the anniversary of the day Jorge Mario Bergolio was elected pope and took the name Francis, I want to continue the list I started on Episode 3 of the podcast. To be honest, Ges and I didn’t even realize on Friday that the anniversary of our current pope’s election was right around the corner. We just like the guy that much. So here’s an explanation of my Pope Hope list (plus one) with some links:
1. He’s a Jesuit. Meaning he became a priest with the Society of Jesus. This was my number one on the list because the election of a Jesuit to the papacy was, and kinda still is, shocking. No one ever expected a Jesuit pope for lots of reasons. But it’s pretty cool if you’re a Jesuit-educated person or are generally inspired by Ignatian spirituality. He’s also the first pope from Latin America.
2. Pope Francis makes a prioritized and public effort to stand with the poor and disenfranchised. His efforts to lead by example and walk the proverbial talk are inspiring and challenging to the world and especially the faithful.
3. Care for creation and the environment. We’ve already recently written a whole separate post about Laudato Si and Catholic Social Teaching regarding care for creation, so I’ll just ask you which pope used St. Peter’s as a backdrop for an animal slideshow? hmmmm
4. He’s a communicator in the most modern of ways. He presented to the U.S. Congress in 2015 during which he highlighted Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, and Martin Luther King Jr., and Abraham Lincoln. He signed a Joint Declaration with Patriarch Bartholomew to “reaffirm their desire to overcome the obstacles” dividing the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches. He gives epic airplane interviews. And of course, let us not forget, he’s on twitter! (@pontifex)