ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Pope Frank

Updated on November 5, 2015

The 266th Holy See, formerly Archbishop of Argentina Jorge Bergoglio, is the most unique of popes. Pope Francis is a rock star. He is the first to select the name Francis - after Saint Francis, who renounced wealth in order to live among the poor. His is also the first Jesuit papacy. Jesuits focus specifically on the gospels and teachings of Christianity’s namesake, Jesus Christ, who instructed believers that the best way to serve is to sell their valuables and give everything to the poor.

Papal populism – Francis eschews the lavish. His pope-mobile is a Fiat. He doesn’t wear the red slippers. He chooses not to live in the master Vatican quarters. He sneaks out at night incognito for pizza! This Frank is something else. He once said that god is not “a magician with a magic wand.” He has instructed Catholics to lay off the anti-abortion fanaticism, even saying that women who had required an abortion should be forgiven. He has suggested that atheists could get into heaven (atheists by definition do not believe in heaven, but a wonderful gesture nonetheless). He has said that our gay brothers and sisters could still be good practicing Christians. He has chastised the immorality of the culture of greed that has emerged from unfettered capitalism. He reformed the Vatican Bank in order to clean out organized crime. He attacked the very idea of money in politics. He categorized profits from arms manufacture as blood money. In his trip to America, Pope Francis focused on biblical and moral instructions for believers to protect our planet, and treat immigrants and refugees as our own.

Pope Francis embodies the good in Christianity. He is about as Christ-like as you could expect any practicing Christian to be. Unfortunately, all of the kind words and gestures do nothing at all to change church doctrine. For instance, “The role of women in the Church must not be limited to being mothers, workers, a limited role…there is more! We need to develop a profound theology of womanhood.”

While it’s nice that Pope Frank is preaching gender inclusion, women still aren’t allowed to be priests - let alone bishops, cardinals, or popes. Francis certainly projects a different attitude, but the rules are the rules, and unless and until he leads an effort to reform church doctrine, the kind words and gestures serve as little more than platitudes. After all, Pope Francis is an outlier, and a seventy-eight year-old outlier at that. Remember, he is the first Francis, and the first Jesuit. One out of 266. The odds of a Frankian successor, when that sad day unfortunately arrives, are not in our favor.

The fastest-growing religious group in America has been for years, self-described former-Catholics. That trend has slowed tremendously during Francis’ papacy, his populist and kind message drawing back in folks for whom the church had lost favor. While certainly positive for the church and their bottom line, Francis has done little to address the problems which led to the emptying of the pews in the first place. The Catholic church still officially refuses to treat women as equals, and still insists upon dictating what they do with their own bodies. (To the point of commanding congregants to not utilize birth control, while 97% of catholic women have used birth control at some point in their lives.) The church still refuses to accept equal rights and protections (marriage, employment, housing, lavatorial…) for the LGBTQ community. (Catholic services are also very ritualistic and formal. Little-to-no musical instruments during praise & worship, just ancient hymns from an ancient hymn book, prayers are also from an ancient prayer book, ritualistic standing-sitting-kneeling, hand gestures and usage of food & liquids - but I digress…)

Then of course, the elephant in the room - institutional child-rape, and the cover-up of institutional child-rape. The ongoing cover-up of institutional child-rape, actually. Child-raping pedophile priests were simply swept under the proverbial rug and rearranged – practically gifted a new round of child-victims by the church. Apologies are nice – but wholly insufficient. How can they possibly expect forgiveness while continuing to sit on information that would provide investigators invaluable evidence against those monsters? How about coming clean with internal communications (especially from within the Vatican) on the cover-up?

Francis is by far the Most Valuable Pope of my lifetime - he speaks truth to power, and he preaches kindness and inclusivity. While I wish he would do more to address institutional and doctrinal issues, I understand that he is atop a bureaucratic behemoth whose last reform-minded leader (John Paul I) was poisoned 33 days into his papacy. One can only hope that Pope Francis sticks around long enough to promote a generation of like-minded cardinals and bishops. And that his attitude and example reverberate beyond his time in the Vatican.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)