He was 2013’s Time Magazine’s Man of the Year. He’s the first non-European pope in over 1,000 years. He is the first Jesuit pope ever. He’s managed not to look like Star Wars’s Emperor Palpatine even once during his tenure. In the last 9 months, I’ve grown to respect Pope Francis in ways I was not expecting. He’s brought service and compassion to the forefront of his papal administration. He angers the wealthy. He’s been called anti-Capitalist, which to mind, if that’s the worst thing a person can be called, great! He washes the feet of sinners and “saints” alike. More importantly, he’s brought credibility to a large sector of the Church that was hurting for moral direction. I’m not even close to being Catholic, but I’m very impressed with the New Guy in White. Kudos to you, Holy Father. May your tenure last many more years.
Regardless, here’s my Top Ten Reasons you should like the pope:
- Named the Best-Dressed Man of 2013 by Esquire Magazine
And he does it in plain shoes and holey underwear. Ha. That’s a pun, see… “Pope Francis understands that menswear is meant to express the character of the man wearing the clothes,” says Mary Lisa Gavenas, a fashionista I’ve never heard of. But hey, I like her quote.
- Named 2013 Person of the Year by Advocate Magazine
LGBT individuals accept him. In July, he was quoted as saying “Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord? You can’t marginalize these people.” He also jokingly quipped that if there really is a “gay lobby” in the Catholic church, he hasn’t yet seen it stamped on anyone’s ID cards.
- Sneaks Out Of The Vatican At Night To Help The Poor
This is only a rumor, but with several extremely well-founded sources. He visits the slums in Rome at night. All he needs is a cape and he’d be a Papal superhero. Oh, wait! He’s already got a cape and an awesome custom-built bulletproof car. Maybe he just needs a P on his chest.
- Invites Homeless Men (and One Dog) to Share His Birthday
He also regularly takes his meals in the Vatican cantina. He delivers Papal Masses in the smaller chapels. He lives in a smaller Vatican guest suite, rather than the official papal chambers.
- Immigrant Christmas Gifts
He gave 2,000 Italian immigrants a gift pack of prepaid phone cards, stamps, and day passes to the Rome Metro, so they could stay connected with their families. Yeah, it’s just a gesture. Yeah, the Church has WAY more money. Hey, it’s a gesture, and a kind one.
- Worked as a Nightclub Bouncer
In order to pay his way through college, he was a bouncer. How cool is that? This pope can kick your pope’s ass…
- He Pisses Off Rush Limbaugh
Anyone who does this can’t be all bad!
- He drives a Ford Focus.
By way of contrast, Benedict XVI drove a BMW X5, a custom-built Renault, and a Mercedes.
- He Washed the Feet of Women
In a strong break with tradition, he celebrated holy Thursday by washing the feet of two *gasp* women in a Juvie Detention Center. To make this fact even more amazing, of these women was a Muslim. He didn’t even catch cooties or grow hair on his palms or nuthin’!
- He Snubs Wealth-Conscious Cardinals
The Holy Father is occasionally a no-show in fancy cultural visits. The most famous one was summer 2013, when he was the guest of honor at a Beethoven concert heavily attended by the Cardinals. He spent his time, I believe, picking his toes and listening to his Nirvana CDs.
There are other reasons to like the Holy Father. Liberals like Jon Stewart and atheists like Bill Maher respect him. He shunned the shiny red Prada pope shoes for more respectable footwear. He looks genuine, and it’s very hard to pull off looking genuine for an extended period of time, that is, if you’re not actually genuine. He’s seen crying in public, and not in a John Boehner-kinda way. He seems like the kind of guy you’d want as a pal, maybe have a beer with. And he wouldn’t force his beliefs down your throat at every turn. OK, so this lapsed Protestant’s got him a case of the Pope Love. You’re just gonna have to deal. Happy Sunday. Consider this a sermon if you like.
A brief note:All these facts below have been heavily substantiated and documented by the media, so—you have the Google, look it up!—I won’t be providing references.