Friday, May 10, 2013



Johann Wagener 5-10-13

This pope is a rebel with a cause: to alleviate the suffering of the other 1%, those at the lowest rung of society. It's a mission somehow radical and conservative at the same time. Giving the poor a better lot in life, a foundational principle of Christian faiths, has been drowned out by the din of the culture wars. It brings to mind that quote attributed to Gandhi:

"I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

With a reformist pope, things are changing and already, the humbuggery about "family values" has given way to a real issue. Francis is focusing on poverty, which, like death and taxes, is a scourge that will always be with us. By being complacent, we're being complicit, and Pope Francis knows this.

Consider a recent kerfuffle over a statue of a homeless Jesus, which was rejected by the dioceses of New York and Toronto. The sculpture is of a hooded figure asleep on a park bench, his identity only revealed by the stigmata on his bare feet. Maybe the cardinals considered it too uncomfortable a reminder of their own languishing homeless – which I imagine was exactly the point. Francis should put that thing in St Peter's Square.

He even sent a message to "THE UNBELIEVERS" giving a kind word for atheists, calling them allies to "defend the dignity of man", fellow seekers of truth, goodness and beauty.

Pope Francis: a leader for believers and atheists alike