I am not Catholic, nor religious, but I love Pope Francis. I think he may be filling the role that has in the past been played by other spiritual leaders such as the Dalai Lama and Gandhi. He unites people rather than divides them. He cares deeply. He sees humans as stewards of our Earth and its creatures, not holding dominion as the church has historically been accused of. He is truly a man of our times.
When I was in Rome last year, I listened to a local Roman speak candidly about the current sentiment held by Italian people for the Pope. He said they love him very much but interestingly, he shared that some people see this Pope as possibly the last Pope. Apparently, some think he may be the Pope prophesised of, the Black Pope, (due to the black vestments worn by Jesuits), who will reign leading up to the city of seven hills being destroyed and end times being upon us. Interesting.
Pope Francis released his ecological encyclical in the last few days. Bravo. This man is doing his very best, on all fronts, to make a difference for this planet and each of it’s inhabitants. Some critics have said he should stay out of scientific matters but it turns out he is a man of science, having studied Chemistry at University and having worked in a lab prior to entering the seminary. And anyway, shouldn’t anyone be able to enter this debate when so much is at stake? Especially someone that can influence 1.1 billion people.