As the 266th and current Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, a title he holds ex officio as Bishop of Rome, and Sovereign of the Vatican City, Pope Francis is a pretty cool guy with a lot of influence. And unlike most world leaders he has chosen to use this power in order to start conversations instead of to lecture and tell people what they should believe and support and why they should do it. This aligns very closely with my why as a I wish to make personal connections with individuals and shift current conversations to ones based more in empathy and love. Pope Francis is not only bringing Catholicism back to the people he is also communicating and sharing a message of love and acceptance. Instead of preaching from an altar and not speaking to the people and what they are currently going through or believing he is out across the world seeing people and meeting with them in their homes, shelters or even on the US-Mexico border. This is the first time in history that we have a Pope that believes in evolution and a Presidential Candidate that is a doctor that is unwilling to stray from Creationism. Pope Francis is also engaging the community around him by asking members of the Vatican to be more hands on with helping the poor and the sick. He has also chosen humility, unlike many of his predecessors. He chooses to ride in a Ford Focus while others have chosen more expensive, showy vehicles such as Mercedes or a custom built Renault. This aligns with my ideal of not needing to flaunt what you have but rather to understand where other people are coming from and what their personal stories are.
I also really admire how Pope Francis’ message of love extends to typically marginalized groups within the Catholic and global communities. He once said that “If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has goodwill, who am I to judge?” Just as he does with the people of South America, Pope Francis is empowering and legitimizing a group of people that is normally disregarded by the global population. Hsi why is recognizing and connecting with people and making others recognize that there are other people also living their own lives and just because they are different than you doesn’t mean you can’t relate to love or love them. He is enacting my why at the same time.
In addition, Pope Francis broke many stereotypes and is opening new doors for Catholics and South Americans everywhere. He is the first Pope from South America and now all of a sudden South America is legitimized as it is now a place that has produced one of the largest world leaders. Pope Francis has continued to love where he comes from and is focused on building it up which is also something that I very much align with.
Pope Francis is taking religion at it’s core of love, acceptance and support and using it to help and positively impact the lives of others and get the world to seeing religion, specifically a Christian religion as a positive community which is also something that I strive to achieve and drives me.