Pope Francis: The Change Maker

by julie.brown on April 19, 2016 - 8:38am

Born December 17, 1936 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Pope Francis is the son of Italian immigrants. The greater part of his life has been dedicated to his faith, as he took his first vows as a Jesuit in 1960. After three years of studies, he began teaching literature and psychology in high school and theology at the San Miguel eminary. He became an ordained priest in 1969 and was named coadjutor archbishop in 1997. On March 13th, 2013, he was finally elected pope, and he retains this position to this day (Meko).

Under the leadership of Pope Francis, the Catholic Church has seen what many refer to as a “renewal” (Frias). He differentiates himself from his predecessors with his “emphasis on humanistic values” (Frias) and “open and friendly communication style” (Plude). Indeed, the pope has worked hard to better the ways of communication in the church at large. He refuses the model of a self-centered religious capital, and believes that “communication theory and practice are keys to the church’s future success” (Plude). Thanks to his position, such decisions have a resounding impact across the world; he is prompting a new era of openness and a culture of communication and empathy within Catholicism and Christianity. He has also spoken up about political issues such as the indifference of certain European countries towards the refugees seeking asylum there (America), and his influence has driven many to take a stand on the issue. Pope Francis is aware of the power and reach he has as pope, and he is using his very important platform to spark concrete change in the world.

Pope Franics is a great role model for the religious community. Because he dubbed this year the year of “Mercy”, several churches have taken it upon themselves to not only reach out to their communities, but also get involved with worldwide issues. In fact, churches like that in Outremont or one in Candiac and La Prairie – which I have gotten involved with recently – have been working steadfastly towards bettering the lives of refugees in Canada, a cause that the Pope holds dear. He is using his great influence for the better, and it is making a difference in the lives of many.

 

Sources:

Meko, Tim. “Pope Francis Biography Graphic.” United States conference of Catholic Bishops. Catholic News Service , 2016. Web. Apr. 18, 2016 http://www.usccb.org/about/leadership/holy-see/francis/pope-francis-biography-graphic.cfm

Frias, Denis. “Lead With Humility: 12 Leadership Lessons From Pope Francis.” Library Journal 141.6 (2016): 60. Academic Search Elite. Web. 11 Apr. 2016. http://web.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail/detail?sid=0cacdf52-77e1-43f7-ae87-40900efdcea9%40sessionmgr4005&vid=0&hid=4112&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#AN=114242937&db=afh

“Crisis Of Indifference?.” America 214. (2016): 11. Academic Search Elite. Web. 11 Apr. 2016. http://web.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail/detail?sid=78c1d125-8da8-43e5-8b46-f7511601e533%40sessionmgr4005&vid=0&hid=4112&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#AN=114037962&db=afh

Plude, Frances Forde. “A Listening Church.” America 214. (2016):22-23. Academic Search Elite. Web. 11 Apr. 2016. http://web.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail/detail?sid=5d77bbe7-2f26-4498-9bc7-3646abcf3ec0%40sessionmgr4003&vid=0&hid=4112&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#AN=114037970&db=afh

About the author

Julie Brown is a Digital Imaging and Studio Arts student at Champlain College. She is very interested in matters concerning culture and the arts, as well as youth matters, technology and social activism.