If you are a progressive Catholic, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that you think that God sent Pope Francis to reform the church.
That’s how convicted, straightway and enlightened the Holy Father at least comes across in Wim Wenders’ documentary “Pope Francis – A Man Of His Word.”
It’s thrilling to see him addressing thousands at the Vatican at the ceremony where he accepts the papacy and realize that he is about to shock the world of Catholicism, or that he was about to shock the world itself with his response to a question in an on-a-plane press conference about a “gay lobby.”
Frankly put, Francis is a badass.
It’s amazing how quickly you can forget news stories, because if I had remembered the ones that I took in again during the film (what a trip down recent-memory lane), I wouldn’t have needed to think that way.
Francis just says things that would be considered heresy in even the recent past. That’s what informed my laughter.
The tears were strongest when he was terribly frank with Congress (it’s beautiful).
God, I want to emulate this man. I hope that anyone who seeks reform or progress even in a lot of policy would feel the same.
Sure, he has a platform. But even if we were as courageous in our speech in our day-to-day interactions and conversations, I can’t help but think that the communities in which we live would be very different very quickly.
(Of course, hopefully more men can even desire to do this – I don’t know why Catholic men who are right-wing wouldn’t feel a conviction to do so.)
Wenders makes very clear that Francis wanted the name because of St. Francis of Assisi, a friar who voluntarily lived in poverty.
Francis honors the name, by all accounts. You can’t help but take a moment to sit back and consider the news anchor’s commentary on Francis riding in a Fiat during his visit to Washington, D.C., aside from the visual.
We can’t all go to seminary (or, of course, become the pope), but it was clear that Francis gained his convictions in other means, too, perhaps by reading the greatest books out there and putting himself into experiences where he needed to learn compassion and thoughtfulness.
That’s something we can all do.
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Photo credit: Getty Images