What a difference a pope makes! Benedict was a clothes horse. He used so much ermine in his regalia that there was an ermine shortage while he was enjoying his papacy. He dusted off thousand year old vestments and tiaras. Meanwhile, he insisted that he hadn’t done anything significant in the Hitler Youth, even though they were the most fanatical Nazis next to the SS. Did he worry about the poor? He seemed to think that the important thing was to awe them with his clothes!

Now, along comes Pope Francis, proving that there is goodness in the old church, after all. Jesus was a poor man. He lived among the poor. Francis has put the ermine back in the drawer. He uses vestments that look air-conditioned compared to Benedict’s shrouds. Above all—and to the horror of many American conservative Catholics—he has refocused the Church on its most fundamental mission: follow Jesus, help others, live by compassion.

I think that resigning the papacy was the one good thing that Cardinal Ratzinger ever did. In that one moment of insight—perhaps, as he has implied, a moment of divine inspiration—he saw the truth of what he was and what he had to offer. He was the very picture of arrogance. What he had to offer was…more ermine.

I love Pope Francis.

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  1. Anne I like that he named
    Anne I like that he named himself after St Francis of Assisi, a compassionate being who looked after animals and those who could not speak for themselves. I have some hope that this man, who has become the voice for one of the largest religious groups in the world, will work out the karma cultivated by it in the last thousand years. I believe in forgiveness and reconciliation for all beings. It is up to us, the people currently here on the planet, to change our species and overcome the sins of the past. Francis has shown himself to be well qualified, to act as a catalyst in this change. Blessings, Caroline

  2. Anne, I love Pope Francis as
    Anne, I love Pope Francis as well…..

    When he made the following statement, what I heard was “JUDGE NOT.”

    Pope Francis quote…..
    “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, (who am I to judge)?” Francis said in a wide-ranging news conference aboard the papal plane.

  3. This is a very interesting
    This is a very interesting post Anne.

  4. A brilliant diary entry,
    A brilliant diary entry, Anne. I didn’t know about Benedict’s ermine and tiaras. All I know is that the first time I saw him, I got a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. On the other hand, when I first saw Pope Francis, when he appeared for the first time and put his head down and prayed in front of the throng of thousands in St. Peter’s Square, I thought, “Here is a Pope!” Truly, he is following in the footsteps of Jesus. I cried tears of joy that night, and tears of joy come to my eyes now as I write this.

  5. Finally, the Catholic Church
    Finally, the Catholic Church has a real Christian pope. I absolutely love Pope Francis! He’s an amazing and brilliant man. I think he is doing wonders for the world. He almost makes me want to join the Catholic Church!

  6. he’s the only pope who EVER
    he’s the only pope who EVER impressed me, and he continues to impress. Also impressive is Anne’s writing skills. I didn’t know she was so good!

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