Posted by: maboulette | March 19, 2014



On the first anniversary of the election of Pope Francis, he is the favorite of everyone around the globe – but the pope does have critics from reformers and liberals to hard-core Catholics.

 It has been an extraordinary year for Jorge Mario Bergoglio and not many can dispute that fact.  Since his election to lead the Roman Catholic Church last March, every gesture, from his choice of the name Francis to his fondness for cold-calling parishioners, has endeared him with a very unusual fanclub, including gays and atheists.   He has been on the cover of the Advocate and Rolling Stone as well as being voted Time’s Person of the Year.  He also attracts tens of thousands of Catholics and curious onlookers to his weekly Sunday blessings and Wednesday audiences in St. Peter’s square where he kisses every baby that he sees.  The Wednesday audiences are something that hasn’t been seen in Rome since the early days of John Paul II.  He even has his own fanzine and smartphone app.

But just as the Pope’s pedestrian popularity grows, reinforced no doubt by a savvy public relations move from within the Vatican to get the ‘good news’ message out to the mainstream press, there are a growing number of dissident voices from deep within the Catholic community who are not exactly impressed with the so-called “Francis effect” on the church as a whole.

The fact is that toeing the new party line that has been instilled by Francis is proving to be a challenge for many conservative Catholics who are quite used to a predictable and prudent Pope.  Francis’s comments about showing mercy to divorced couples, not judging gay priests and even toying with further examination of civil  unions outside the church have proven to often be tough for conservative Catholics to handle.  John Vennari, noted Catholic observer and editor of “The Catholic Family News,” has been pounding steadily drumbeat on the danger of Francis’s widespread populist appeal since his election a year ago.  Vennari wrote in a recent blog post that the pope seems to have a good heart and some good Catholic instincts, but believes that theologically he is a train wreck—remarkably sloppy.  Vennari further wrote that this might shock some readers but Vennari would never allow Pope Francis to teach religion to his children.

I am afraid that I would have to disagree with Editor Vennari as I see someone who has drawn more people to the Catholic Church and the teachings of Christ than I ever remember in my lifetime.  The dogma and old teachings of the Church has caused many to flee the Church going to other religions or no religion at all.  Pope Francis is leading by example and sharing with the world the true teachings of Jesus and that is exactly what the Church and the rest the world have been hungry for.

Pope Francis has been given to the Church by a Lord who wants to show everyone a new and better life than what the world is living now.  Wars and the death of the innocents is not the way the world should be living; nor few who have fortunes worth trillions turning their backs on billions who have nothing – not even a cup of clean water or food to eat each day. Pope Francis has been sent to show the world a better and more Christ-like life to lead – we should follow his example and put our world back into a world that pleases our Heavenly Father more.

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