Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Shepherd Among His Sheep for World Youth Day

Pope Francis is in the silver Fiat, Rio de Janeiro
This article about Pope Francis 's entrance into Brazil for World Youth Day is pleasant to read and highlights so nicely the essence of Pope Francis's papacy as he moves freely through crowds of people seeming to have little regard for his own safety and most regard for connecting with his flock.
Pope Francis simply chooses to continue his way of doing things as he’s always had when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires. And this simple act is drawing the attention of millions as evidenced yesterday when the papal motorcade came to a standstill as the Pope’s car was surrounded by faithful wishing to greet him.Even more surprising, the Pope didn’t hide; on the contrary, he kept his window open, greeting people as if nothing. The Pope’s security detail, however, broke a sweat.It may seem irresponsible for some, or even careless that a man of the Pope’s stature be allowed to be swarmed like that but it truly is a testament to the bravery of Francis. It takes only one disgruntled or mentally unstable person to mix in with the crowd and endanger his life, yet he doesn’t shy away. He opens his window and extends his hand. He wants to be a part of their lives, he wants to comfort them; a shepherd 'who smells like his sheep.'
What a lesson for some of our secular leaders, seemingly completely divorced from even the knowledge of what courage is, who display nothing of the humility due their office nor any of the enthusiasm for connecting to the people who've placed them there.  Our own anti-gun Mayor Bloomberg travels with an armed security detail and doesn't take kindly to the suggestion that he's a hypocrite (not to mention a coward).  Barack Obama made sure to sign into law coverage for himself and his family guaranteeing lifetime--lifetime!--Secret Service protection.  Celebrities spend millions on security for themselves. And then there's the Rosie O'Donnell brouhaha of several years ago in which Rosie denounces guns--for everyone but her bodyguard. 

It would do us all good to read more about the true leadership that Pope Francis demonstrates daily to the world, but, alas, the mainstream media is slow to understand.  Hmmm, perhaps I spoke too soon.  There is this coverage from MSN.  It's not a bad article either, until about the fourth paragraph from the bottom where the writers tell us that despite the million or so expected for World Youth Day, most of Brazil's Catholics have turned to evangelical religions.  Not untrue perhaps but not the point either.  Besides, maybe Francis's humble, exemplary leadership and his love for the Church will bring all those Brazilian Catholics back into the sheepfold.