By Duke Staff
Born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Pope Francis was elected as the Pope to the Catholic Church nearly seven months ago. In his time as head of the Vatican, Pope Francis has been proclaimed by many as “The People’s Pope” due to his radical changes that go against traditional standings. Examples of him going against the grain are him refusing to wear the legendary red shoes, rumors of him walking the streets at night disguised as a mere priest and even seen taking a selfie.
He’s making important, profound decisions that are not only groundbreaking in our society, but also beneficial for the Catholic Church’s own growth. But what else has the alleged “People’s Pope” achieved?
1) Pope Francis has more followers than you. Over three million to be exact. Taking advantage of the benefits of social media, the Pope is able to reach more ears than ever before.
2) He used to be a bouncer. According to Ron Dicker of The Huffington Post, The Pope used to work as a bouncer for a night club in Buenos Aires. He took the job to “make money when he was a student.” This openness to the public clearly demonstrates that The Pope is committed to being an approachable and accepting figure.
3) He drives a used car. In September, Pope Francis received a donated vintage 1984 Renault 4 and uses it to drive around Vatican Grounds, according to a Time article by Courtney Subramanian. He could easily choose to drive an expensive car, but he decided to stick with a used car. This humble act truly practices the act of teaching through doing.
4) He’s not a pushover. In October, Pope Francis expelled Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, the Bishop of Limburg for spending more than $40 million in renovating his residence. Not only did he recognize the faults the Church has made in the past, he chose to fix them as well. The multi-million dollar residence has been projected to be turned into a refugee center, or soup kitchen according to Catholic Church officials.
5) He doesn’t preach hate. Last Tuesday, the Pope wrote in his apostolic exhortation –a formal document of communication between the Pope and the Catholic Church- in which he wrote about Judaism, “We cannot consider Judaism as a foreign religion; nor do we include the Jews among those called to turn from idols and to serve the true God.” Preachings like this aims to dismantle prejudices amongst religions and teach peace, not war between different views.
Whether you agree with the religion or not, the Catholic Church has benefited hugely by Pope Francis’s reign and can only continue with him at the head of the Vatican.