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Protestant Update on the Pope

September 24, 2013

On March 22, I wrote a post about the new Pope (you can find it here: https://anafalz.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/a-protestant-reaction-to-pope-francis/). After half a year now, I think it is time to write an update.

Pope Francis has been a breath of fresh air to both Catholics and Protestants. He washed the feet of prisoners and women when tradition holds he should wash the Bishops feet. He committed to baptize the child of an unwed mother, something which was refused to her by local priests. He wears the same cloths as always, and rides in a used car. As if that is not enough, he told the church they need to quit focusing on abortions and gay marriage. To say his actions counter-culture for the Catholic Church, that would be an understatement.

Pope Francis has won the endearment of both Catholics and Protestants. While this is good news, if we just sit and watch, it will be no different from watching a television show. We have to ask what we can do to follow his bold leadership. One thing which stands out is he is a man of the people, a man of those who are suffering or rejected. He intentionally makes decisions or takes action to benefit, or bring comfort, to those people. So we must ask ourselves, how can I make a difference? Am I building barriers between me and others, or am I tearing barriers down?

Another area where the Pope can be an example is in his humbleness and simplicity. He continues to wear the plain shoes he has always worn. He maintains the simplest of liturgical attire. He chooses to drive a small, used, high-mileage car instead of the extravagant Pope Mobile. I can imagine his choices inside the Vatican would also reflect his simplistic and humble style. We can reflect on this and wonder have we become overwhelmed with the excess of this modern society? Has our church taken on the same consumerist habits as its members? How could the money be better used than to pursue the rich life?

We can sit back in amusement and amazement as we watch Pope Francis change the world by stepping outside the box and into Scriptural behavior: So far, Pope Francis has set Christians on notice that they are failing to love people how Jesus loved people. Today, we need to take a page from the Pope’s playbook and start loving others as Jesus loves us.

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