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Thoughts on the News

JeffLogan's picture
tomgroeneman's picture

the poor

The Philippines has been a very Catholic country since the Spanish colonized her so it is no surprise that so many of the faithful turned out to be with their spiritual father and leader. The reason I think the Pope is so popular with the media at least is that he early on made some statements that were heard as steps toward reconciling divorced and gay Catholics, his efforts to reform the Curia which for centuries has been corrupted by its financial entanglements, and his initiatives toward healing conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere. These are all the worldly priorities of western liberal culture and media types and he has won them over with a masterful campaign of rhetoric. But I would suggest however that these qualities do not impress the average Catholic who is socially conservative and concerned about the family. This Pope tends to speak to whichever interest group he seems to be engaging at the time but his real identity is reflected in his Apostolic Exhortation: The Joy of the Gospel wherein he emphasizes what many understand as the Great Commission and its social dimensions. What I liked most about this Pope is his commitment to the poor and advocacy of the marginalized as well as the simplicity with which he presents these priorities. The average Filipino is also poor and just like whenever the Popes have visited Mexico or Latin America, the poor have turned out in droves. This is only logical and natural because a rich man or nation does not see the need for God and so has limited spiritual hunger. In my view this Pope is so popular because he understands the teachings of Jesus including the first Beatitude: Matthew 5:3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

Tom Groeneman