Seven words that best explain the “Pope Francis Approach”
By Rome Reports
Pope Francis has rapidly altered Catholicism's image since being elected Pope two years ago. Here are seven words that describe his revolutionary papacy.
Tenderness is central to his style, the ingredient that softens his gestures. He wants to make the world a more humane place by being tender.
"And remember, strong, but with tenderness."
"Evangelii Gaudium" can be seen as the Pope Francis manifesto. It is a passionate invitation for all Catholics to leave their comfort zones and boldly spread the Christian message.
"I want action. Here there will be noise, I'm quite sure. Here in Rio there will be plenty of noise, no doubt about that. But I want you to make yourselves heard in your dioceses, I want the noise to go out, I want the Church to go out onto the streets, I want us to resist worldly everything, everything static, everything comfortable, everything to do with clericalism, everything that might make us closed in on ourselves. The parishes, the schools, the institutions are made for going out ... if they do not, they become an NGO, and the Church can not be an NGO.”
Pope Francis often denounces the cruelty of a "throwaway” society that discards the most vulnerable: children, the poor, the sick, and the elderly.
"I asked a woman, 'Do your children visit you? She said, 'Yes, yes, they do.' When was the last time they came? She said, 'For Christmas.' We were in August! Eight months without a visit from her children. Eight months of being abandoned! This is a deadly sin. Understood?”
The Church's geopolitical strategy has also changed under the Pope. His first trip was to Lampedusa, the island where many migrants to Europe arrive. The first European country he visited was Albania. And his first tour to Latin America included stops in Bolivia, Paraguay and Ecuador.
He also selected cardinals from Haiti, Tonga and Burkina Faso, countries with little to no representation at the Vatican.
In order to understand reality, the Pope has said, one must go to the edges of cities or to the world's existential peripheries.
Pope Francis thinks that tears are the only valid response to the pain of others. It's his way of denouncing globalized indifference.
"I invite each one of you to ask yourselves: 'Have I learned how to weep, how to cry? Have I learned how to weep for somebody who is left aside? Have I learned to weep for someone who has a drug problem? Have I learned how to weep for someone who has suffered abuse?'
God's mercy is available to all of those who repent, the Pope has said time and time again. He invites us to never get tired of asking for mercy.
God Understands us. He waits for us. He does not get tired of forgiving us if we repent and go to him with a truly open heart.
Never forget this: The Lord never gets tired of forgiving us. It is we, who get tired of asking for forgiveness.
The Pope proposes a new lifestyle, rooted in simplicity and everyday kindness. It has created a stream of joy all around him.
"Give testimony of the joy that meeting Jesus brings, because I said that every meeting with Jesus is life changing, and also fills us with joy, that joy that comes from the inside. That's how the Lord is.”
Joy pervades Pope Francis' life, it's apparent in every appearance he makes.
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