I am not Catholic, nevertheless, I cannot help but have the greatest respect for Pope Francis. He has helped improve the face of organized religion by his example and his grassroots approach to life is quite refreshing. Let me give you a mini-bio from Wikipedia:
Franciscus; Italian: Francesco; born Jorge Mario
Bergoglio, 17 December 1936) is the 266th
and current Pope
of the Catholic Church, having been elected Bishop of Rome
and absolute Sovereign of the Vatican City State.
Born in Buenos Aires,
Bergoglio worked briefly as a chemical technician and nightclub
bouncer before entering the seminary.
He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1969, and from 1973 to 1979
was Argentina's Provincial Superior of the Society of Jesus.
He became the Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998, and
was created a Cardinal in 2001. Following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on 28
February 2013, the subsequent papal conclave elected Bergoglio as his
successor on 13 March. He chose his papal name
in honour of Saint Francis of Assisi. Francis is the
first Jesuit Pope, the first Pope from the Americas, the first Pope from the Southern Hemisphere and the first non-European
Pope since Pope Gregory III in 741, 1272 years earlier.
Did you get that part? He was once a nightclub bouncer!! It is wonderful to see the air of mystery, the pomp, and the aloofness eliminated. He is focused on his calling and his service to God with particular focus on the less fortunate. I saw a news clip the other day where Pope Francis stopped the 'pope mobile' during a procession to pick up an old friend. It is these simple acts that gain favour with the people. At the same time, he is still able to balance being down to earth and the dignity of his title.
Since many of you do not belong to the Catholic Church and others are non-believers, from the bottom of my heart I give this silent blessing to each and every one of you, respecting the conscience of each one of you but knowing that each one of you is a child of God. - Pope Francis