Thursday, September 24, 2015
He is infallible.
He goes by several titles: Vicar of Christ, Bishop of Rome, Supreme Pontiff, Sovereign of the State of Vatican City, Holy Father, His Holiness, and Pontiff among them, along with the more affectionate Il Papa.
Infallible if you believe in the doctrine of the Holy Roman Catholic Church which stipulates that he is just that to the Holy See and the more than a billion or so Catholics to whom he is indeed the Holy Father, and the Vicar of Christ which means he is taking his orders from the Man upstairs.
He is Pope Francis the 1st, aka Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the former Cardinal from Argentina, the first Jesuit to be elected to the papacy- March 13, 2013 - in more than 2,000 or so years, and the 266th Pope in a long line of infallible Vicars of Christ who oversaw the spiritual well being and direction of Catholics all around the planet.
And at one time before being ordained a priest, he was a bouncer.
He refuses to live in the luxurious papal apartments in the Vatican, disdains the usual Red silk shoes worn by former Popes, eats simply, is hell to his security detail because he so often reaches into crowds to hug people, and rides around in a humble fiat, a vehicle which delivered him to the White House at the beginning of his first ever visit to the United States this week.
He has already put some noses out of joint at the Holy See.
Cutting red tape, rearranging long held financial traditions, unsettling the entrenched Vatican bureaucracy and traditions, and sending the message that there would be nobody enriched by leftovers from the Vatican Bank.
Or so it seems, able to hold their jobs after the age of 80.
He is turning the Holy Roman Catholic on its ear by promising to streamline the annulment process, offering forgiveness to women who have had abortions, making overtures to the LGBGT community, preaching a message of inclusivness to all...including, and especially...those who had no standing in Vatican business i.e., the impoverished, the homeless, the spiritually negated and neglected, and anybody who is Catholic and who wants to come back to the flock.
He even has a twitter account with millions of followers and true to retuning the family business to Social Media practices, is offering indulgences via Twitter use.
And now, he is here for several days, and drawing millions of people -Catholic and non-Catholic - who want to be close to this man and see for themselves this humble and self-effacing and powerful man who has, and will wag his finger in the faces of the politicians and world leaders whom he feels to be busily dividing the world into camps of the self - righteous and the evil.
Now, that takes chutzpah.
He wants to send the clear message that cooperating for the common good, and exhibiting restraint, and forgiveness and compassion in the face of evil and for the common good is the way to go down the right path.
So far, so good, Holy Father.
Your method is a far cry from the Catholic church so many of us were brought up with, when the enforcers of the spiritual doctrines were stern faced priests and those wild and crazy nuns lurking about the class room, rulers in hand,
And a welcome method, indeed.
Viva Il Papa.
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