Sometime over the last few days, someone shared the above quote on Facebook, which caused me to have three thoughts:
- Yes, that’s a nice quote, which speaks to what the Church is supposed to be. Here’s some context.
- There’s nothing new in it. If you had asked Pope Benedict whether that was a sound assertion, he would have agreed. Probably. Surely John Paul II would have.
- Why do people post things like this as images, rather than text, so that you can’t just copy and paste them? Is this another sign that we are moving toward a post-literate society? Drives me nuts…
And then I moved on.
But I ran across it again later, and had another thought:
Yes, other popes would have agreed with it, but Pope Francis chooses, unbidden, to assert this over and over. This is his chosen message. This is what he wants you to hear, and understand, about the Church and about Christianity.
And that’s what makes him special. It’s why the world welcomes him so joyfully. It’s why the guy can’t even leave an ordinary voice message for some nuns without it going viral. People love the guy. And that’s because the message he chooses, first and foremost, is that of love…