The whole process of selecting a new Pope for the Catholic Church has been fascinating to me. First off, there’s the whole issue of the lace-covered red robes worn by the Priests as they entered into the Vatican. The lace made the robes almost feminine, and I am so curious about them. Of course, the black and white smoke reflecting the decisions made by the Priests only added to the mysterious nature of the whole process. It almost seemed archaic. Those Priests could so simply use email to let the world know that they hadn’t made a decision yet, but the smoke certainly has more character.
As I look at this whole process, I think about my own religion and try to view it as an outsider would. I often think that strangers would think we’re nuts if they walked into a Jewish synagogue on the holiday, Simchat Torah, when we’re dancing down the aisles clinging on to our dear Torahs. It is completely normal for us though, and even a lot of fun. I can only imagine that, to Catholics, the process of selecting a Pope is perhaps familiar and even comforting.
Finally, the new Pope is a mystery all on his own. It seems that Pope Francis is different, and that there may be a slightly new attitude and feeling for the Catholic Church. According to CNN, the new pope chose the name Francis as a way to honor St. Francis of Assisi, and this never-used-until-now Pope name is quite reflective of his beliefs. CNN reports that St. Francis of Assisi was “an admirer of nature and a servant to the poor and destitute.” They also report that Vatican spokesman, Rev. Thomas Rosica, pointed out the similarities between the two men:
“Francis of Assisi is … someone who turned his back on the wealth of his family and the lifestyle he had, and bonded with lepers and the poor. Here’s this pope known for his care for AIDS patients and people who are very sick. Who is known for his concern with single mothers whose babies were refused to be baptized by priests in his diocese. He scolded those priests last year and said, ‘How can you turn these people away when they belong to us? ‘”
I am excited for the Catholic Church. There is new promising leadership at the helm, and I cross my fingers for them that Pope Francis is all they are hoping he will be.
My song of the day may be a little too rock and roll for this topic, but Hoobastank’s “Born to Lead” is lyrically perfect.
We’re holding the key, to unlock our destiny,
We were Born To Lead.
We’re finally free, no longer following,
We were Born To Lead.
Click HERE to hear the song on Youtube. As I listen to it today, my thoughts are filled with good luck wishes and congratulations for the Catholic Church. It is has been so educational to watch, and this Jewish gal is praying for your success. Mazel tov!