That was the headline this afternoon on cnn.com, and it couldn’t be more wrong.
In anticipation of the Pope’s visit to the US I often heard, “I hope he doesn’t get political.” I thought, why would he? Not that I know him of course but I know of him and it would surprise me to hear him politicking at all about anything.
Pope Francis’ words so far have been fully about love, compassion, generosity, family and community. In his speech to the joint session of Congress his words simply urged us to respect life and family, to not fear immigrants and to take care of our environment. Who would disagree with any of this? Yet because these are issues at the core of much of our political differences some have labeled it political.
If you missed his speech I urge you to read it and then decide for yourself. I’ll give you one example. With respect to immigration, he said we should not fear immigrants. He did not say that we should open (or close) our borders. His message does sometimes make us uncomfortable but that is only our guilty conscience being challenged but such a man.
Catholic or not, it’s hard not to revere this man. No disrespect at all to his predecessors but Pope Francis is just different. Somehow he seems more, hmm, what’s the word, Christ-like. Yes. Mahatma Gandhi, another man revered worldwide, once said, “I will become a Christian when I meet one.” Wow! What an amazing meeting it would be if Mahatma Gandhi were alive today to meet Pope Francis.
The last thing Pope Francis said to the crowds after both his major speeches so far was, “God bless America.” Amen!