[text_image img="http://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/8-Things-You-Ought-to-Know-about-Pope-Francis-I-TITLE.jpg" width="100%" type="title"][list_title][/text_image]
[buffer by="15px"]
[dropcap letter="E"]ver since Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected as Pope Francis I, the third consecutive non-Italian Pope to assume the papacy has literally shocked Catholics and non-Catholics alike with his progressive stance on issues, including his unorthodox opinions on atheists and homosexuality alike. The Pontiff turns 77 today.

Cynics would say that the Pope’s current popularity and recent accolade as Time’s Person of the Year is merely the product of an excellent PR team, but the fundamental differences Pope Francis exhibits from his predecessors inevitably dictate a shift in emphasis away from more hot-button topics towards social justice.

This represents, at worst, a willingness to agree to disagree rather than insisting on the Catholic way or the highway, and at best, a genuine working dialogue towards reforming a church that has been struggling for relevance for decades.

Will the Catholic church ever allow for contraception, endorse marriage equality and ordain women? Probably not. But if all goes well, these issues will no longer be the overwhelming agenda of the church, when there are so many other valid problems that need to be addressed in the world.

[/buffer]



 



[text_image img="http://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Pope-Francis-used-to-be-a-bouncer-8V.jpg" width="100%" type="subheading"]Pope-Francis-used-to-be-a-bouncer-8[/text_image]


[buffer by="0px 25px 25px 25px"]

Yep, he said so himself. If only he were at Prive that fateful night Anne Curtis went ballistic, maybe the whole episode would have turned out differently.

[/buffer]





[text_image img="http://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/You-wont-believe-it-when-you-find-out-who-love-and-hate-the-Pope-respectively-7V.jpg" width="100%" type="subheading"]You-wont-believe-it-when-you-find-out-who-love-and-hate-the-Pope-respectively-7[/text_image]


[buffer by="0px 25px 25px 25px"]

There’s a lot to be said about the Pope when people like Sarah Palin, FOX News, and even Rush Limbaugh find themselves at odds with the Bishop of Rome, but several atheists are cheering him on (well, maybe not Richard Dawkins, though).

That fundamentalist Catholics have to reinterpret the Pope’s statements so it would remain consistent with their own views means that as it was for Filipinos after Justin Bieber went to Tacloban, there will be a lot of cognitive dissonance going around for a while.

[/buffer]





[text_image img="http://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/He-sneaks-out-of-the-Vatican-6V.jpg" width="100%" type="title"]He-sneaks-out-of-the-Vatican-6[list_title][/text_image]


[buffer by="0px 25px 25px 25px"]

Yes he sneaks out, but only because he ministers to the homeless. Here is a man who refuses the prestige that normally comes with the title of “His Holiness.” It certainly feels very awkward to see that next to nobody seems to be willing to follow his example, and continue to live in apparent opulence within the church.

[/buffer]





[text_image img="http://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/He-gave-a-sermon-5V.jpg" width="100%" type="subheading"]He-gave-a-sermon-5[/text_image]


[buffer by="0px 25px 25px 25px"]

Pope Francis recently preached in a hellfire-and-brimstone sermon that “the corrupt should be tied to a rock and thrown into the sea.” The Philippines would have a shortage of rocks if we tried to follow the pope on this one!

[/buffer]





[text_image img="http://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/The-Pope-is-a-fan-of-dialogue-4V.jpg" width="100%" type="subheading"]The-Pope-is-a-fan-of-dialogue-[/text_image]


[buffer by="0px 25px 25px 25px"]

Whether he speaks to a Jewish Rabbi, or a Muslim leader, or a high-profile atheist, it is the willingness to engage in respectful dialogue with differing spiritual opinions that is very promising about Pope Francis.

Any true church should be a living and breathing one, and dialogue is one of the healthiest signs of life for any church, as opposed to utter isolation and disconnection from the rest of the world.

[/buffer]





[text_image img="http://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Theres-a-reason-why-he-took-Francis-as-his-papal-name-3V1.jpg" width="100%" type="title"]Theres-a-reason-why-he-took-Francis-as-his-papal-name-3[list_title][/text_image]


[buffer by="0px 25px 25px 25px"]

St. Francis of Assisi is not just a shopping complex in front of Megamall, but a representation of Pope Francis’s desire to have a church for the poor.

Coming from South America, the birthplace of liberation theology, Pope Francis I wants to reflect the simple, luxury-free values of his namesake. He couldn’t have made it any clearer than when he came out with his condemnation of unfettered capitalism in Evangelii Gaudium.

They say a picture paints a thousand words, so here, look at the photo above and have a very meaningful thousand.

[/buffer]






[text_image img="http://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Call-me-maybe-2V.jpg" width="100%" type="title"]Call-me-maybe-2[list_title][/text_image]


[buffer by="0px 25px 25px 25px"]

Recently, Pope Francis called a single mother and offered to baptize her child. It was his way of applauding her choice to keep the baby in the face of the pressure to have the child aborted. Pro-life? Yes, absolutely. Still an awesome gesture? Doubly so.

There’s also a heartwarming moment when a little boy approached him while he was delivering a homily, that hearkens back to what Christ himself said in the Gospel of Matthew: suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me…

[/buffer]





[text_image img="http://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/He-leads-by-example-with-Christlike-Christianity-1V.jpg" width="100%" type="title"]He-leads-by-example-with-Christlike-Christianity-1[list_title][/text_image]


[buffer by="0px 25px 25px 25px"]

It was Gandhi who was often allegedly quoted as saying “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” I could be wrong, but a man who accepts and love sinners while in no way condoning sin itself is precisely the essence of what it means to be Christlike.

While true, what may or may not be sinful is still a matter for debate between a Catholic and an atheist, for example, Pope Francis wisely sidesteps this issue by asking, “who am I to judge?” then proceeds to do something far more constructive instead.

It is this kind of humility and openness that certainly gives a breath of fresh air to the Catholic church, and following the Pope’s example on matters of frugality, humility, and acceptance could go a long way towards truly becoming better people through one’s faith, and not in spite of it.

 

P.S. He's also concerned when he sees you wearing short sleeves in cold weather:
https://vine.co/v/hUKYiIPBr0m

What do you think of Pope Francis? Let's talk about him in the Comments Section.

[/buffer]

Kel Fabie

Kel Fabie. is a DJ, host, mentalist, satirist, comedian, and a long-time contributor to 8List (Hello, ladies!). He has an Oscar, a Pulitzer, a Nobel, and two other weirdly-named pet dogs. He blogs on mistervader.com.

Related Posts