Era of Pope Francis


It’s been a little over a year and Pope Francis has drastically changed the face of the Catholic church and religion. Pope Francis has continuously appeared on the news for boldly addressing topics previous popes have never considered discussing. The majority of students in AHS consider themselves Catholic and his controversy affects many students with different religious views.

“I find that Pope Francis has done a great job reaching out to the youth, Catholics or not, and has brought faith back to much of the world” Senior and Roman Catholic Lily Montes de Oca said. “I think Pope Francis’ idea of accepting all sinners may have a more effective approach in terms of youth.”

Junior Soriya De Lopez associates herself with atheism, yet she expresses her deepest respect towards the new pope.

“I like him from what I’ve heard about him so far because he does seem to be trying to reach out to people of all backgrounds by sending messages of wisdom and peace beyond the church.”

Junior Jenny McCann is a Roman Catholic who is very fond of Pope Francis. She admires his courage and is inspired by his compassion towards everyone and humility. “I think he’s one of the best Popes the Catholic Church has been given in a long time. He seems to be a leader who is genuinely concerned with spreading God’s love and helping the poor, which are what the primary focuses of the Church should be.”

Like the Pope, McCann believes the Church should stop fighting and spread God’s love. McCann tells the A-Blast that she believes that ideology has been lost due to the war the Church has been fighting with society on modern issues. “With a leader like Pope Francis, people will be drawn back into the church without the papacy having to compromise it’s opinion on any of the modern controversies.”

Pope Francis has reached out to millions of people outside of the church as well.

Pope Francis has been praised for his embodiment of St Francis of Assisi. “[St Francis of Assisi] was a man of peace, a man of poverty, a man who loved and protected creation” Francis said. On January 2014, Pope Francis shocked the world being the first pope to publicly talk about issues such as gay marriage, abortion, and divorce. Francis boldly said that he will not judge the gay community because he believes it is God’s job to judge us. He also said that he wished the church would start focusing more on worshiping the Lord and not on abortion, contraception and other sexual “wrongs”. Finally, he supported the decision of divorce when the relationship is toxic and unhealthy for a home. This goes against the initial belief that started in the Catholic church hundreds of years ago.

With mixed reactions from the Vatican and extremists, there has been efforts to tarnish the Pope’s reputation through fake blogs and misquoted statements. On the other hand, many others around the world praise his courage and beliefs. Some have started to reconsider the Catholic faith and are returning to the church. With such leadership and stardom, Pope Francis was named the most influential and best dressed figure of 2013.

“I think that he is taking an optimistic approach through his words and actions by focusing more on bigger things instead of just ridiculing subjects such as gay rights, which can be seen as negative in that society” Lopez said. “He seems to be a man of peace and acceptance who is willing to step into modern world issues instead of being stuck in old values. “

Pope Francis’ popularity and love comes from the fact that he preaches with a wise voice. His ability to adapt our mentality is the main reason why Francis will go down in history.

“I am particularly inspired by his humble and non judgmental statements about homosexuality; pointing out that it is not his place to condemn them as sinners when he is a sinner himself” McCann said.