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12 December 2013


There once was as meek ​​and modest child to be awarded a medal for " The Humbler " . The next day was taken away for having used it . Thus ends the lesson.

How one practices humility from the glorified throne of the earth ? Rarely does a new actor on the world stage has attracted much attention so fast, young and old , believers and cynics as has Pope Francisco.In his nine months on the throne, Francisco has been at the center of the main discussions of our time the same : about wealth and poverty, fairness and justice , transparency , modernity, globalization , the role of women, the nature of marriage , the temptations of power .In a time when the limits of leadership are tested in so many places, a man without an army or weapons , without a kingdom beyond a small piece of land in the center of Rome arrives, but with huge backing wealth and the weight of history to pose a challenge. The world is getting smaller , individual voices are heard becoming stronger ; technology makes virtue becomes viral, so the pulpit Francisco is visible to the ends of the Earth. When kissing a disfigured face or washes the feet of a Muslim woman man image resonates far beyond the boundaries of the Catholic Church.

Skeptics will point to the obstacles facing Francisco to achieve something concrete, beyond making the less fervent believers are better for more moderate Rome and free while ignoring the more substantial issues tone feel . The Catholic Church is one of the oldest , largest and richest institutions in the world , with 1,200 million adherents , and change does not come naturally to her. At its best , the Church inspires and instructs , helps and heals , and calls the faithful to listen to their most benevolent angels. But it has been weakened by scandals worldwide , corruption, a shortage of priests and competition, especially in the fertile fields of the southern hemisphere missionaries , evangelical and Pentecostal rivals. In some places, the central doctrines teaching on divorce and contraception is widely ignored and ridiculed by orthodoxy is obsolete. Bureaucrats and the Vatican clergy are accused of infighting , corruption, blackmail and an obsession with " petty rules " as Francisco holds , instead of the enormous possibilities of grace. Not only preach , hear says . No rebuke , heal.

And yet , in less than a year, has done something remarkable : not change the words, but the music changed . The tone and temper weighed in a church built on the substance of the symbols , bread and wine, body and blood, and therefore it is a mistake to dismiss the election of any symbolic gestures Pope as lacking the force of law . He published his first apostolic exhortation , an attack on " the idolatry of money " , just as Americans celebrated the Thanksgiving Day and evaluating whether to spend this holiday, set for gratitude, in malls . This is a man who manages time well . Not living in the papal palace surrounded by courtiers but in an austere residence pilgrims. Pray all the time, even when waiting to be seen by the dentist. He took the papal Mercedes circulation and replaced by a Ford Focus with a few scratches . Do not use red shoes and luxurious robes , wears around his neck a cross of iron instead of gold .  

When you reject the pomp and privilege, first revealed the Vatican's finances , rebuke a German archbishop wasteful, phoning strangers in distress, and offers baptize the baby of a divorced woman whose married lover wanted an abortion , is doing more to become an example of compassion and transparency. It is accepting the complexity and the risk of admitting a church obsessed with rights and virtue can cause more wounds heals . When asked why they did not seem interested in fighting a culture war refers to the battlefield . The Church is a hospital, said . Our first duty is to assist the wounded. One does not ask a man who is bleeding what your cholesterol level.This focus on compassion , along with a general aura of joy not always associated with the princes of the Church, Francisco has made a kind of rock star. More than 3 million people came to the Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro last July to see the crowds in the Plaza de San Pedro are euphoric and souvenir sold in record numbers. Francesco is the most popular male name among infants in Italy. The churches reported an "effect Francisco " non-practicing Catholics who have returned to Mass and returned to confess , although anecdotes are no substitute for evidence and surveys of American Catholics so far shown little change in practice.  

But the fascination with Francisco even beyond Catholic circles , provides an opportunity he never had his predecessor , Benedict XVI : magnify the message of the Church and its power to do good.The acceptance of the secular press makes it suspect among traditionalists , who fear that popularity paying the purchase price of a diluted faith. Fascination has skillfully used the media to draw attention to many issues, from his prayers for peace in Syria until its stinging attack on trickle down economics , which inspired Jesse Jackson to compare with Martin Luther King and Rush Limbaugh ask whether it is Marxist. When you're a celebrity in the media, every word is carefully analyzed , as it is what you choose to say . Why has not referred in more detail about the scandal of sexual abuse by priests , they ask supporters of victims. (This month , established a commission to address the abuse of children by priests ) . Why not talk over the sanctity of life , they ask the traditionalists , who notes that in urging the abortion was only mentioned once , while mercy appeared in 32 opportunities. Francisco affirms traditional teachings on sexuality and simultaneously warns that distract the Church. Attacks priests who refuse to baptize children of single mothers to practice a "rigorous and hypocritical neo- clericalism ." Declares that God " has redeemed us all ... not just Catholics . To everyone, including atheists . " Environmental activists showing poses with a shirt that condemns fracking, and calls the political and business leaders to be "protectors of creation."

None of this liberal return Francisco , who also claims that a body exclusively male priests is not at issue , nor the abortion or the definition of marriage . But its focus on the poor, and the fact that 0.1 % of the richest people in the world control 81% of wealth - irritating to those who defend capitalism as the most successful anti-poverty program in history . One could argue that Teddy Roosevelt is protecting capitalism from its own excesses , or just say what his predecessors have said that Jesus calls us to care for the less fortunate , but says it in a way that makes people listen so different . And that can be especially important when you say the first Pope of the New World . A century ago , most Catholics lived in Europe , today less than a quarter reside there, and how it is played in countries where being gay is a crime and women in leadership positions heresy could have the power to transform cultures in which Catholicism is a rising force and potentially liberating.

These days it is encouraging to hear a leader say anything to annoy someone. Today , liberals and conservatives alike face a choice when they hear a new voice of conscience : what is more important, this charismatic leader says things that they believe is necessary to say or it also tells others that prefer not to hear?

The heart is a strong muscle and Francisco proposes a rigorous exercise regimen. In a very short period , a large , global and ecumenical audience has shown eagerness to follow . Having moved the papacy from the palace to the streets, committing the largest religion in the world to face their deepest needs and balance the judgment with mercy , Pope Francisco is the Person of the Year 2013 TIME .


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