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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pope Francis and humble power

In 2008, on the Holy Thursday, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio(Pope Francis) washed the feet of 12 recovering drug addicts at a rehabilitation center in Buenos Aires, Argentina(in this Pic).

As Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, he showed compassion for the victims of HIV-AIDS and in 2001, visited a hospice to kiss and wash the feet of 12 AIDS patients.  Link:

Catholic Charismatic Renewal'
--

 One of the first things I noticed about the new pope is that when he first came out on the balcony,
he tried to hold the microphone himself.
(microphones themselves raise crucial questions; see chapter 38 of Pagitt's "Preaching Reimagined"),

 He eventually let his (literally) righthand man )  (=servant)take it.

But as is obvious with what we know so far about Francis I...

 (has always insisted on speaking on same level as his audience,  went to evangelical pastors meetings in Argentina and asked for prayer,  asked for prayer from the crowd at installation, rode the train and subway to work as arcbishop, checked out of the hotel himself, and then took the bus with other bishops after installation
etc
          etc.
                        etc)

....  the guy is humble with his approach to power.
And he doesn't seem to be proud of his humility.
This will be interesting to see how we navigates all the trappings and pompenstance.

How far can he/will he take this?

   "No title, Just call me Francis "  (:
    (on titles, see this, this, this, this  and  especially this )


See John Thavis' post, reflecting on How does Pope Francis understand “papal power”?
Observations on his first mass:

-- He eliminated the offertory procession, which typically features many Catholics or groups of Catholics bringing gifts directly to the seated pope. Vatican officials said this, too, was a move designed to save time. I can’t help but think it also reflected Francis’ desire to remove himself from the center of the liturgical stage.
-- He decided not to distribute Communion, leaving that task to priests and deacons. Some have suggested that the pope may have wanted to avoid the embarrassment of giving Communion to VIPs – including some international politicians – who may disagree with some church teachings.
My own theory is that, again, he was removing himself as a celebrity celebrant. For years, people have pulled strings to get into the pope’s Communion line, and it’s often seen as some kind of reward or sign of prestige.
LINK:complete article: Simplicity and compassion front and center How does Pope Francis understand “papal power”?

As Bono..in character (or not) has said in concert:
"We got the show,
We do the business.
But this is not show business." (video)

Another of my first thoughts on Francis was the famous apocryphal (?) story of St Francis visiting the Vatican.  A quick googling shows others have connected these dots:

G.K. Chesterton tells the story of the time that St. Francis of Assisi visited Rome and the pope of the day proudly showed him all the wondrous treasures of the Vatican. Referring to a story in the Biblical Book of Acts in which St. Peter spoke with a beggar in Jerusalem and told him he had no money, the pope pointed to the treasures around him and said, “Peter can no longer say ‘Silver and gold have I none.’” 
St. Francis’ response: “Neither can he say, ‘Rise up and walk.’” 
... St. Francis’ point was that the triumphal, institutional church of his day was prestigious and wealthy, but it had lost the inner fire and dedication that made Christianity a world-transforming faith. 
So now we have a Pope Francis, and we are about to see what he can make of the papacy, and whether the Catholic Church in his day will be able to rise up like the beggar and walk. In some ways, Francis was a typically canny choice by the oldest electoral college in the world.  link
 --

See:

"What if the Pope was one of us..."


--
And don't get me started on Francis' marvelously mssional mindset:
"Jesus goes out to meet people, instead of waiting for people to come looking for Him...Today the place for Christ is the street; the place for the Christian is the street." -Pope Francis/ Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 3/21/09LInk, along with many sermons

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