A World-Changing Election
Pope Francis found himself in the spotlight after the conclave that elected him to the papacy. He has made some dramatic moves in the church. Here are some important things he has said this year.
Pope Francis was named Time's Person of the Year for his world-changing views on quite a few topics. He has introduced some sweeping changes to the thinking of not only the Catholic Church, but also the world. Pope Francis was also the most talked-about topic on Facebook, according to the UK Independent, followed by the terms election, royal baby, typhoon, Margaret Thatcher, Boston Marathon, Miley Cyrus and others.
Pope Francis released a 223-page "papal exhortation" after ascending to the papacy. The statement, which ended up being a sort of book on his goals while in the papal office, explained many things about the world and the church.
"It is not the task of the Pope to offer a detailed and complete analysis of contemporary reality, but I do exhort all the communities to an 'ever watchful scrutiny of the signs of the times,'" Pope Francis wrote, according to the New Yorker. "This is in fact a grave responsibility, since certain present realities, unless effectively dealt with, are capable of setting off processes of dehumanization which would then be hard to reverse. We need to distinguish clearly what might be a fruit of the kingdom from what runs counter to God’s plan."
The pope continued by talking about the world today, and that we must do to adjust to the developments being made in technology, science, etc.
"[H]umanity is experiencing a turning point in its history, as we can see from the advances being made in so many fields," he said. "We can only praise the steps being taken to improve people’s welfare in areas such as health care, education and communications."
Pope Francis also said that none of these things can come true if we focus on money, and not each other.
In December, President Obama took a note from Pope Francis, quoting him in a speech about income inequality. According to the Huffington Post, he asked, "How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?"
The pope embraced a severely disfigured man in November to show his followers the Church will embrace all.
That service to all people does not only include the sick and the disfigured.
"Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord?" Pope Francis said. "You can't marginalize these people."
Pope Francis wrote in his exhortation that he believes the church's number one mission should be to care for those less fortunate.
"I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security," he said. "More than by fear of going astray, my hope is that we will be moved by the fear of remaining shut up within structures which give us a false sense of security, within rules which make us harsh judges, within habits which make us feel safe, while at our door people are starving and Jesus does not tire of saying to us: 'Give them something to eat.'"
Pope Francis said that, beyond everything, we must work together as a human race to help each other.
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