June 19, 2014
Great Blessings to South India. Recently Karnataka’s Jesuit Provincial Fr Francis Serrao was appointed as the new Bishop of Shimoga by Pope Francis and now, in another yet another happy news, Blessed Kuriakose Elias Chavara and Mother Euphrasia both from Kerala are to be Canonised by Pope Francis on November 23 in the Vatican. Chavara Kuriakose Elias (1805-1871), founder of the order of Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI), was a social reformer, publisher, and educator. Mother Euphrasia (1877-1952) was a member of the order of the Sisters of the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel, which was founded by Blessed Kuriakose Elias Chavara. On this occasion, I am delighted to bring forward an article on our Great Pope Francis, The People’s Pope.
It was God’s will, last February 2013, when Benedict XVI became the first Pope in 700 years to resign; his announcement shook the Catholic Church to the core. But soon the sense of shock subsided as his successor- the first Latin American pope - Pope Francis - charmed the world by his ‘Walk the Talk’. Here was a man very different from his immediate predecessors. As one understands, he was plainly uncomfortable with the lavish trappings of his office in the Vatican that helped conjure the awe and authority of popes down the centuries. By taking the name Francis, the new Pope made a declaration of intent - one that no previous pope had dared: Francis of Assisi, the 12th century saint, who died in 1226, renounced the fortune he was born into to live humbly among the poor.
After a decade of seeing their church trashed for child abuse and money-laundering, Catholics are basking in the goodwill generated by the actions of their new leader. Since Pope Francis got elected, strangely enough, church scandals or child abuse cases have come down considerably (at least in the press) this itself is an acceptance by different segments of the clergy, The Way He Leads.
Two billion Christians and even more non-believers around the world admire Pope Francis for Pope had said, "I told you I would willingly give you a blessing. Since many of you do not belong to the Catholic Church and others are non-believers, from the bottom of my heart I give this silent blessing to each and every one of you, respecting the conscience of each one of you but knowing that each one of you is a child of God. May God bless all of you."
Two billion Christians and even more non-believers around the world are asking themselves, is this Pope Francis greater than the previous Popes and drawing an analogy from ‘First’ Pope, Simon Peter to ‘Last Pope’ (I mean with present Pope Francis), drawing a parallel line “Church to be poor, and for the poor”. Other reasons mainly being Pope Francis has opted to live in a modest guest house adjoining the Apostolic Palace rather than in the sumptuous papal apartments. He regularly ditches the papal motorcade and security, carries his own cases, and telephones ordinary Catholics who seek his help. It's also rumored he sneaks out at night to feed the poor and for his humble declaration that “Catholics should remember that Jesus, not the pope, was the Centre of the Church."
Pawan Deshpande, a member of the Hindu American Foundation Executive Council, congratulated the Catholic Church, but expressed a desire for change from the tenure of the pope emeritus, Benedict XVI. Some Hindus consider the former pope's reign as a lost opportunity for dialogue. ''As a pluralistic faith, Hindus respect the papacy for its importance to Catholics, and hope that the Church now begins a new era of mutually respecting Dharma religions and other pluralist traditions as divinely inspired paths as well,'' Deshpande said in a statement on March 13.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a leading Muslim civil rights group in Washington, offered its support to the new pontiff, after somewhat difficult relations between the Muslim world and the Vatican during Benedict's tenure. ''We congratulate Pope Francis on his election by the College of Cardinals and offer the Muslim community's support and cooperation in every positive effort he will undertake for peace, justice and the betterment of humanity,'' executive director NihadAwad said in a news release.
Secularist press is impressed by this 77-year-old pontiff. "The Vatican press officers are amazed," says Monsignor Anthony Figueiredo of the Pontifical North American College in the Vatican. "They were used to an almost weekly attack against Benedict XVI. Now, the mood has changed completely. The Pope is so popular, a spokesman for CBS says his network runs an item on the Pope every few days."
On most controversial subject church is facing Church at present times, according to The New Times, Pope had said" same sex marriages and if they search for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?" For he leaves every offence to God, who it the Best judge to judge.
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on December 17, 1936, Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Pope Francis on March 13, 2013, when he was named the 266th pope of the Roman Catholic Church. Bergoglio, the first pope from the Americas, reportedly took his papal title after St. Francis of Assisi of Italy. Prior to his election as pope, Bergoglio served as archbishop of Buenos Aires from 1998 to 2013 (succeeding Antonio Quarracino), as cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church of Argentina from 2001 to 2013, and as president of the Bishops' Conference of Argentina from 2005 to 2011. Pope Francis made his first international visit in July 2013, traveling to Brazil. In December 2013, Pope Francis was also named Person of the Year byTIME magazine. The following March, it was announced that Pope Francis had been nominated for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.
Last month Pope Francis visited Israel, brought leaders of different faiths together, openedearnestly the dialogue with a common prayer. Their meeting was highlighted by President of Israel "During your historic visit to Israel, you moved us with your good heart, pure intentions, natural modesty and pleasant demeanor. You touched peoples’ hearts, regardless of religion and nationality. You came as a builder of bridges of friendship and peace. We all need the uplifting inspiration that animates your personality and your ways. Your invitation to us to join this rare assembly to call for peace, here in the garden of the Vatican, with the participation of Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Druze religious leaders, nobly reflects your vision, which is the desire of all of us: Peace….
Who Expects What from Pope Francis
Pope Francis must address the Vatican’s sexual abuse and financial scandals to restore people’s faith in the Catholic Church. Not doing so “undermines the confidence of people in their bishops,” says theology professor, Lopez-Kaley said.
To advocates for victims of sexual abuse want Pope Francis to take firmer steps against the scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church, costing billions in lawsuit settlements.Pope Francis “needs to declare zero tolerance,” Pilmaier said.
“They see a genuine, caring, concerned, involved, priestly man, pastorally involved with his people,”
The pope also is expected to reform the Curia, the Vatican’s administrative arm, Callahan said.
Carol Kaiser of West Salem believes Pope Francis is “going to be great” — and she has a couple of game-changing ideas for him.“We would like to see priests marry if they so choose,” said Kaiser, a founding member of St. Leo the Great Parish in West Salem. “I think it would have lessened the other problems,” of priest sexual abuse. Secondly, although church doctrine bars women from becoming priests, “I would be very much in favor of women deacons. We all have to work at it together, and the pope can set a precedent,” Kaiser said.
Eduardo Ramirez of La Crosse, who grew up in poverty in his native El Salvador, says he expects Pope Francis to heighten the
Catholic Church’s work for the poor.
Ramirez, 34, said he rejoiced when cardinals elected Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as Pope because of his track record in helping the poor in Argentina.
“I feel with the previous pope (Benedict XVI), there was something missing. He was very smart and very intellectual, but he didn’t connect with the poor people,” he said.
“The bottom line of the church is to help the poor. That was lost for awhile,” Ramirez said.
He also lauded the pope’s concern for the environment, saying, “He lives a sustainable lifestyle, riding the trains instead of fancy cars.”
Famous Quotes from Pope Francis
“Our god is not a god ‘spray’ he is tangible; he is not abstract but has a name: “God is love”.
“God will judge us on our love, on how we have loved our brethren, especially the weakest and the neediest”.
“Trust in God: this is the key to success in life”.
“God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking his mercy”.
“It would be good for us to ask ourselves as well: Am I really my brother’s keeper? Yes, you are your brother’s keeper!! To be human means to care of one another!”.
“Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is good... Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place”.
Confessing before God and Men, Humble Pope recently declared, “This is me, a sinner on whom the Lord has turned his gaze. And this is what I said when they asked me if I would accept my election as pontiff. I am a sinner, but I trust in the infinite mercy and patience of our Lord Jesus Christ, and I accept in a spirit of penance. I am a sinner. This is the most accurate definition. It is not a figure of speech, a literary genre. I am a sinner.”
“In our ecclesiastical region there are priests who don't baptize the children of single mothers because they weren't conceived in the sanctity of marriage. These are today's hypocrites. Those who clericalizethe church, Those who separate the people of Godfrom Salvation”.
“I have a dogmatic certainty: God is in every person's life. God is in everyone's life. Even if the life of a person has been a disaster, even if it is destroyed by vices, drugs or anything else - God is in this person's life. You can - you must - try to seek God in every human life.”
Thank God for Pope Francis who has sown the Good Seeds among all the brethren in this Universe;seeds of love, forgiveness and dialogue; seeds of peace, patience and understating by reminding every faith in this world that we are all the children of One Universal God, respect each other’s Faith.