Time magazine’s person of the year for 2013.
After being appointed the leader of the Catholic Church and the Bishop of Rome in 2013, Pope Francis rose to fame for the things that he was not: his unorthodox ways, his unprejudiced mind, and his willingness to change. He has earned the respect of not only Catholics, but also of other religious groups.
Legend has it that a pope’s position is equivalent to that of the successor of Saint Peter, to whom Jesus anointed the keys of Heaven. The Supreme Pontiff has not only fulfilled his duties, but also exceeded everyone’s expectations. There are many ways in which he is unlike former Popes. This list will bring to you reasons as to why he is loved by one and all.
- HE IS OPEN TO THE LGBT COMMUNITY
Pope Francis did what nobody could imagine or expect of a Catholic Church leader. His does not support same-sex marriages, but he accepted the right of homosexuals to equality.
“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”
His words are highly influencing and have led to the acceptance of LGBTs by Catholics. This can be considered a small step towards a distant dream.
- A “LEFT-HANDED” POPE
His name “Francis”, after Francis of Assisi, for he is a “man of poverty”. Known for his concern for the poor, Pope Francis was reported by the Huffington Post to sneak out at night, disguised, to serve the poor. He criticizes capitalism and his views have been called “Marxist”.
- RELIGIOUS BELIEFS
After the “Charlie Hebdo” attacks, Pope Francis commented “One cannot provoke, one cannot insult other people’s faith, one cannot make fun of faith”, on the magazine’s depiction of Prophet Muhammad. He was against the violence in the name of religion, but maintained that the magazine “had gone too far”.
The Pope believes in interfaith dialogue and has reached out to Protestants, Muslims, Jews, and even to the non-believers.
- HIS MODEST WAYS
He gave up the “Pope mobile”, instead drives around in his 20 year old Renault; gave up the traditional cape for a simple white robe, and carries the same cross that he wore as cardinal. Pope Francis refused to give up his simple ways and proved that power cannot change him.
- HE IS SIMPLY COOL
POPE FRANCIS OWNED A HARLEY!
Do I need to say more? It was a gift, but the Pope auctioned it off and donated the money to charity.
He isn’t one to shy away from the latest trends. Pope Francis embraced the selfie culture, has joined “Twitter”, and has also appeared on the cover of the “Rolling Stone” magazine.
- AN ENVIRONMENTALIST
Not only is he a great world leader, he is concerned about the environment as well. Latin America’s First Pope released an encyclical on the environment, citing his concern and the failure of world leaders to tackle climate change. He believes it to be everyone’s duty, whether a believer or an atheist, to protect mother Earth.
- HIS FOLLOWERS
He has devout followers across Europe and is adored equally by young and old. When he was elected as the Pope, every single person was teary-eyed. Pope Francis draws a huge crowd, no matter where he is. While saying mass at Rio de Janeiro, a crowd of 3 million showed up. He is undoubtedly, the most popular and loved Pope of all time.
- INTERNATIONAL TIES
He was the driving-force behind the restoration of diplomatic ties between U.S.A. and Cuba. He is not confined to Europe, and unlike his predecessor, has visited Turkey, Israel, Palestine, among others. He is taking initiative to improve international ties.
Pope Francis has inspired a lot of people across the world, irrespective of their religious beliefs. He has won the hearts of many and has become a respected and a popular figure. Being the leader of the Catholic Church, his words affect a lot of people and influence their thoughts as well. He is transforming the ways of the Church and trying to bring about a change. He is indeed the hero the world needs!