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Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Saturday, December 3, 2016

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4/5/2013 11:31:00 AM
A man we can follow
Catholic News Service
Pope Francis speaks at an audience.
Catholic News Service
Pope Francis speaks at an audience.

Pope Francis humbles and excited us all at once.

This holy man, who just by his nature eschews finery and perhaps even the large papal apartments, calls us to gospel simplicity. The new pope tells us our focus should be on God, not possessions. The message is particularly challenging for us in the U.S., where material gain has long been the way we value ourselves.    

The papal trend toward simplicity is spreading. Pope Francis himself reportedly wears his black trousers and sometimes an untucked shirt under the white papal cassock. Lace has given way to linen with the Vatican master of ceremonies.

Our pope from the Americas is showing the utter beauty of a simple Christian life.

It’s no secret that the cardinals wanted to change the culture of inner Vatican leadership, which for years has been suspect. We anticipate the curia will be purified and refreshed.

Portland Archbishop Alexander Sample expects the reform will “bring back that central focus of the church being of service.”

It may be coincidence, because the U.S. Catholic bishops have always spoken up for the poor, but we note that the biggest news of late from the bishops’ conference, in Washington, D.C., concerns advocacy before Congress on the moral and human dimensions of the federal budget.

We live in a world where God became one of us and forged a sacramental link between divinity and humanity.

The pope is a bridge between us and  God.

We think Pope Francis will connect us to God with his humble yet dynamic way of living the gospel.





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