Pope Francis said that he wants a poor Church and a church that serves the poor
by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
The Roman Church and especially the Curia have just woken up to a serious shock, it would seem, in that Pope Francis has decided that he and the Church will live up to the standards of the Saint whose name he chose.
Pope Francis I has made clear that he will be introducing a different style and this became already evident on the night he was elected when he shunned the papal limousine and traveled on a bus with other cardinals who had elected him. The next day he returned to the Church-run hotel where he had been staying before the conclave and insisted on paying the bill.
Now he has refused to occupy the Papal apartments in the Vatican and has declared that he instead will be living in the Vatican guesthouse so that he can be together with the people.
Signs are also emerging that this new Pope will take a completely different stance as regards to the poor, the environment, and other issues, much in line with his name's sake, Saint Francis of Assisi.
How far the Holy Father will be allowed by the Curia and the Church administration to proceed with this is something that we will have to watch and hopefully he will not fall prey to some people wishing to keep control of their power base in the Church and the Vatican and begin to plot against him.
The fact that Pope Francis I is from the Society of Jesus may offer him some protection while, as the same time, it also makes him a target by some. He is after all the first Jesuit to occupy the Throne of Peter and in many minds that fact is not going to go down too well.
However, members of the Society have always been in the forefront of what has been referred to as “liberation theology” in Latin America and many of its priests have paid a high price for being on the side of the poor and fighting, even with arms, for the rights of the oppressed.
While it is true that the new Bishop of Rome does not, directly, come from that line of thought and work some of that may have rubbed off on him and many of his actions speak for the fact that he is not all that far removed from that line of thinking and especially acting.
Let us hope that those changes will take place and that the Pope can carry them through without any threat or worse to him from those that may not like the way the Church is going to be heading, as it would appear, under his leadership.