Reprinted from the Press and Journal
I’m not Catholic, but man do I love this pope.
Ever since Jorge Mario Bergoglio, otherwise known as Pope Francis, was confirmed as the Vicar of Christ in March of 2013, he’s been boggling the minds of religious and political observers.
Born to Italian immigrants in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Francis grew up in a lower-middle class environment in a country about as politically clean as the mob. He came of age in a place very much removed from stable public order. This upbringing led to become the head of the Jesuit order in Argentina at a time of dictatorship and domestic strife.
It is from this background that the Pontiff learned the importance of giving the needy a voice in human society.
All this and more make Francis a fascinating character.
His tenure as Bishop of Rome has been spent reaching out to the margins of society – the poor, the diseased, the lost and forgotten. Not long after being confirmed, he was photographed kissing the head of a disfigured man, an act of profound grace. During his recent trip to Washington, he snubbed a bunch of congressmen to visit a homeless shelter.
The caritas Francis has spread has not come without controversy, however.