Over the years, the Catholic Church has faced many complications. When Pope Benedict XVI decided to step down from the Papacy February 2013, these issues were left to the next leader, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio. The Conclave chose Jorge Bergoglio as the new pope last March 2013, and with this selection came many firsts and changes for the Church. From the very start, with his modest choice of the name Francis, the new Pope showed his high concern for the poor and his difference in character from previous popes. Now, over a year later, Pope Francis is renewing the Catholic Church through his changes in the traditional Papal lifestyle, his open-minded approach, and his missions to ...view middle of the document...
Pope Francis’ personality has influenced the Catholic Church positively because of his refreshing uniqueness and openness. Pope Francis appeals to all different kinds of people, religious and non-religious, because of this open-mindedness and his non-judgmental love and respect for all. Pope Francis stresses the importance of loving everyone no matter where they are at spiritually. Pope Francis believes that as followers of Jesus, “we must meet people on their own terms” (Schultenover, 784). This message is inclusive of all people trying to find God, no matter the age, race, or religious denomination (“Pope Francis, Christian Mission, And The Church Of Saint Francis”, 165). The Holy Father’s welcoming style is part of his merciful and loving actions. Pope Francis on many occasions has surprised the church through his compassionate actions.
For example, the Pope spent his Holy Thursday last year washing the feet of prisoners). Pope Francis is the first pope to humble himself to that extreme. As David Schultenover puts it in his article “From the Editor’s Desk”, “this is why the world has opened its heart to him- because he has so opened his heart to the world” (784).
The main way in which the Pope has impacted the Catholic Church has been in his work towards improving issues of society, most notably poverty. Pope Francis’ main objective during his tenure is to get the Church more involved in the everyday needs of the poor to obtain social equality. In his Evangelii Gaudium, or “apostolic exhortation”, Pope Francis discussed his opinions on our society’s money obsession, saying, “Money should serve, not rule!” and expresses disdain for our ‘throw away culture’. His Holiness focuses on eliminating materialism and causes of poverty. Finding jobs for the poor so that they can become self-sufficient is one of Pope Francis’ approaches to making them less isolated from the rest of society (Skorka, 169). Society should not have such extremes of wealth while people are struggling to get by daily. Fixing this problem is a Christian responsibility. As the Pope says himself, “the poor are the treasure of the Church and we must care for them” (Skorka, 173).
Another one of the Holy Father’s main missions is to heal the Church itself. Scandals such as corruption within the Vatican’s bank and pedophilia accusations are just two examples of controversy in today’s Church. Since his succession, Pope Francis has taken steps towards preventing such corruption, especially in the bank. More specifically,
the Pope created a committee dedicated to analyzing bank spending and appointed a prominent Italian economist, Ettore Tedeschi to be in charge (Flamini,...