Pope Francis is a compassionate and down to earth guy
Now that I am learning Italian, I practice it by tuning in to RAI, the Italian station I can get in Bakersfield. I watch Pope Francis’ homilies on Sunday mornings on tape delay. You just get the overwhelming impression of him as being humble, compassionate, intelligent, and kind. Popes before him always reminded me of the judges I appear in front of every day: Old, grumpy, self-important rich white guys. I refer to this group, in general, as the Masters of the Universe. You see them in positions of power everywhere: business, the judiciary, the government, religion, the military. The sixty five year old fat conservative guy with white hair in a expensive suit or uniform who is accustomed to being served hand and foot all day by a small army of sycophants: General, Archbishop, CEO, Senator, Judge. The titles change, but the douchebags behind them stay the same. (How many judges does it take to change a lightbulb? One: He just stands there holding it and the world revolves around him.)
And, of course, the thinking is always the same as well: the issues are always the ones that the rich feel comfortable with, usually social issues that have nothing to do with their lives. All the struggles and failings of the common people are scorned by those who run the world.
Pope Francis couldn’t be more different. The stories of him cold calling people that wrote him, cancelling his newspaper subscription himself, paying for his hotel stay: he’s a real person. Here is a great biography of him in Rolling Stone, no less.
I guarantee you he is the first Pope who used to moonlight as a bouncer at a bar.
Here’s another commentary about what he has done so far, from the New York Times:
It is a refreshing change of pace to watch the Pope give a sermon and think “Wow!” at the end.