Pope Francis spent his years working as a priest in some of the worst neighborhoods in Buenos Aires. He’s seen the ravages of poverty and affliction and he has lived among those who go without. He’s felt their pain. He knows what it’s like to make sacrifices. There’s nothing religious about us in any sense of the term but we recognize true compassion when we see it and this Pope seems to exude it. He’s a Sagittarius with a penchant for making forthright statements that seem to take the establishment off guard. He preaches change that goes to the very heart of society. He’s urging us to change our ways. He implores the world to share the wealth and spread the love and good fortune around. The Pope, whose name is Jorge Mario Bergoglio, is not afraid to tell it like it is and he does so in a way that is with deep conviction. He not only lives vicariously through those going through hard times but he has actually lived among them.
There has not been a Pope like this since Pope John XXIII, the pontiff who saved Jewish lives from the fate of the Holocaust by baptizing them and making them immune from persecution. It remains to be seen if Pope Francis’s words will resonate in a world that seems to be undergoing a sea change of seismic shifts. Rocked in scandal, the Catholic church knew that it had to radically change in order to remain relevant. With the election of Pope Francis, a man who is beyond reproach, that change is here now. Let’s see if the pope can help usher in a new Era of Compassion. We certainly hope that he is successful. Love and compassion will conquer all. In a way, Pope Francis is addressing a sleeping giant: the disenfranchised and the forgotten people living on the fringes of society. Just how much longer before this giant awakes to demand real change on a global level? Only time will tell. To quote Frederick Douglass, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never had and it never will.”