Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I Worry About the Pope

I worry about the Pope; I think he faces fierce opposition ahead because he is talking about the need for societal change.  It is one thing to talk about personal sin because one can excuse the self by pointing to someone who is worse; but when it is suggested that a 'way of being' with which the majority is comfortable, is in need of change, there is an outcry and a banding together to protect against a perceived threat.

I believe generally in the goodness of people but too frequently we are limited by vision which takes in only the narrow bit of reality we occupy. The truly 'Great Men' see beyond that limited vision to concern for the greater good that transcends selfishness.  They carry us forward to reach beyond our base human nature and lead us to discover our better selves.  But such men are opposed, often violently so--the Lincolns, the Gandhis, the Mandellas . . .

I believe Pope Francis to be such a one; and that is why I worry about him.  In his latest encyclical he addresses the challenges of today's world; a call to truly look at the enormous gap between the 'haves and the have nots', the glaring imbalance of opportunity for education, health care, and even daily survival needs.  He points to an economic structure that stacks the deck for those who are privileged with unearned favors and excludes those who are not.

These are the issues that cry for our attention; unless we address them our world is not sustainable, but they promise great hardship for those who make us face them.  So, while I pray for his safety, I worry about the Pope.

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