Pope Francis I Proves He Isn’t ‘More Of The Same’ By Admirably Focusing His Attention On The Poor

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Pope FrancisWhen Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Pope Francis I, there was an immediate rush to see just where his positions fell on the most controversial topics of our time. Same-sex marriage? Oh so against. Birth control for women who deserve control over their own reproduction? Not a chance. Traditional, conservative family and home structure is the only way to go? You betcha. Pope Francis was immediately brushed off  as “more of the same.” But his immediate focus on helping the poor is proving some critics wrong.

The Pope has held his inaugural mass and received both his papal pallium and fisherman’s ring. The ceremony, like most other rituals of the Pope’s first few days heading the Church, was marked by his insistent focus on the needs of the poor. The Jesuit priest who was known for his modesty and humility is making a huge impact on the way Catholicism is perceived, and it’s a direction that I’m happy to see the Church move in.

Personally, I’m never going to agree with the Church on everything. But as some religious scholars have noted, it simply isn’t logical to think that a new Pope is going to stand up in support of abortion access and same-sex marriage. If they held those believes, they wouldn’t make it to the conclave.

However, it is really refreshing to see the leader of the Catholic Church focus on an extremely important message that unites followers instead of dividing them. Helping the poor, especially children, is a goal that everyone should be behind. And it’s nice to feel like I can work with the Catholic Church on a shared goal. It makes me, a woman who married into a Catholic family and is considering introducing her daughter to the faith, feel like we have common ground on which to build a relationship.

The image of the Church matters and Pope Francis seems to be interested in crafting a new one for his time in the papacy. At mass, he told the thousands who gathered to hear him,

“It means protecting all creation, the beauty of the created world… It means respecting each of God’s creatures and respecting the environment in which we live.

“It means protecting people, showing loving concern for each and every person, especially children, the elderly, those in need, who are often the last we think about.”

I am sure that there are lots of issues that Pope Francis and I will disagree on. I don’t expect the Catholic Church to have some dramatic shift to a liberal bastion. But I do feel like there’s a change coming in regards to their focus. And if the Church uses its immeasurable power to help the poor and needy, especially children, then it will have an ally in me.

(Photo: WENN)