Sunday, September 27, 2015

Pope Francis In The USA

Photo: ABC News
I have lived in Manhattan during the visits of the last two Popes: Benedict XVI and Francis I. Fortunately, I was in the right place at the right time to see both ... and without waiting in 3-hour lines. They each traveled up to my Upper East Side neighborhood on their way to East Harlem, or the Bronx. Pope Benedict was on his way to say Mass at Yankee Stadium (2008), while Pope Francis visited a school in East Harlem (2015).

The streets where the Popes drove by were narrow, and I got a close look at both of them. Pope Benedict was absorbed in thought, perhaps thinking about his sermon, while the People's Pope, Francis waved at us. We were delighted!

Like many people, I am very impressed with Pope Francis. He seems to possess the right combination of intellect, compassion and humility. His order, the Jesuits, are smart and educated, requiring advanced university degrees to enter. At times in history, the papacy was at war with the Jesuits (not combat-wise, but out-of-favor-wise). Now a Jesuit is the Pope! 

Pope Francis sets an inspiring global tone and nails what is truly important: Treat all people as you want to be treated. Never forget that the poor, the migrant and all people with differences have something in common with you. They have a human face. Be true; and have tolerance and compassion for everyone, is the Pope's emphasis. (He is much more eloquent then I am. He has a bigger brain!)

Pope Francis is the first pontiff to address an American Congress. Wow, was it ever an impressive speech! The Pope is not afraid to shake things up and tackle political matters. He doesn't depict problems using philosophical rhetoric. His Holiness is a practical man, clear and precise. He gets political without overstepping and becoming political. I am linking the Pope's entire speech for everyone to hear. It is worth the time of a listen!

Pope Francis' visit to America is turning out to be like none other. He really took New York City by quiet storm! I have never seen such excitement in this town for another luminary. Personally, I think the Pope is a radical. He is not afraid of change, nor is he afraid of the status quo. Because he talks about a fair distribution of economic wealth, as well as, sustainability while acknowledging global warming, I think the Pope is progressive; but he will surprise both conservatives and liberals alike. He often goes in a direction, no one expects, like opposing the death penalty and supporting the US - Iran Nuclear Deal. His mind is big; his concerns expansive.

Lucky me ... for walking down the right avenue at the right time on Friday afternoon to get a glimpse of this historic figure, a special man, the People's Pope.

You may also enjoy:
Another Election Done      
Duck Dynasty: A Review
A Party At Ryan's Daughter
About Dad (And Mom) On Father's Day


  1. How exciting Debra, to have seen not one, but two popes, right there in your own neighbourhood. I have been watching the pope's visit with interest. I agree with you, he is a bit of a radical and I love that he shakes things up. Right from the beginning he shunned the fancy trappings and refused to live in the gilded palace. Good for him! He is a real Jesuit, and a man for the modern world. One of our sons has been in New York this past week so I can't wait to ask him about it as well.

  2. I love his focus on social justice and issues which make a difference in the lives of everyday people. No mumbo-jumbo, ivory tower speeches either.

    I 'd love to hear about your son's New York trip ... perhaps a blog?

    1. Ha - I'd love to hear about it too Debra....but it is difficult to get much info from our boy, and we might wait weeks for a visit. That's the young for you :)