I’ve actually thought off and on about writing something about Pope Francis here on my blog, but never wound up doing it. I figure with the announcement this week that Time has named him their Person of the Year now is a good time. For anyone who doesn’t know, although I consider myself a Christian I am not Catholic. Ultimately I have a number of problems with the Catholic Church and the earthly hierarchy of people they place between humans and God. However, as far as popes go so far I have been very impressed with Pope Francis. As I am not a Catholic I really can’t speak super intelligently on the matter, but at least from where I’m sitting he seems to pointing the Catholic Church in the right direction with what seems to be a more inclusive focus towards people who have been shunned by the church as well as emphasizing social justice above all things.
I suppose I shouldn’t be entirely surprised given his Jesuit background. I work for a Jesuit university and have been nothing but impressed by the things focused on here. Jesuits from what I understand are very much into education and social justice issues, and both of things are very much emphasized where I work. I feel like these Jesuit values pervade the institution and I am often proud to be associated with the work they are doing. The Catholic Church is a very visible face of Christianity in this world, so even though it’s not my personal religion I appreciate any efforts that make me think that it might be starting to strive to fulfill Jesus’ mission a little better than I personally think they have been.