Pope Francis is shifting things in the Catholic faith and in the world for good. His leadership is bringing a much needed reformation in the Catholic Church, as his example is putting the focus back on doing more work outside of the church rather than just keeping the good works stored inside of the church. In fact, he is so well liked and recognized that Time magazine dubbed him as their Person of the Year in 2013. He was elevated to a position of high power last year, becoming the chief leader of the 1.2 billion Catholics around the world. There are many ways he is using his platform for good, impacting change and positive reform for people around the world.
It is not just for any reason that Pope Francis was chosen as the person of the year by Time. He is a positive inspiration to many around the world and his achievements during his time are very promising, demonstrating his strength in morality and character.
Pope Francis’ strength of character is shown by the way he conducts his life. He calls the church leaders and the people to live a humble life, not being excessive with self –indulgence. He demonstrated this by banishing corruption that came up within the church. When it became known that German bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst was selfishly spending an exorbitant amount of money on himself, Pope Francis did not hesitate to dismiss him and set the standard for the other bishops around the world.
Furthermore, the Pope has shown the importance of justice and right-living by first tackling problems within the Catholic church, including addressing the church’s financial corruption. He called for an investigation into the Vatican Bank, or the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR) near the beginning of his papacy. The IOR has had a reputation for monetary corruption, but since the investigation, the bank has made improvements in transparency and is conforming to European standards. Although the Pope has faced many threats, including a possible assignation by the Italian Mafia for his noble actions, he continues to hold firmly to his moral convictions.
Pope Francis is also famously known or his concern for the poor and his stance on economic equality. Last year the Pope published his Apostolic Exhortation, a 50,000 word statement in which he defended the poor and called people of all faiths to help them. The Pope disapproved of the “throw away culture” in which those less fortunate are left out or cast by the wayside, and where food and resources are often thrown away and wasted. This is yet another way Pope Francis was able to influence others and use his platform for good.
Leaders from around the world, both religious and secular have praised the Pope. President Barack Obama stated how impressed he is with the Pope’s demonstration of the Christian faith, and how he has shown genuine concern for the suffering and a love for mankind.
Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary General, also praised the Pope for being a “spiritual leader of the world.” Moon sees Pope Francis’ stance on social justice is in line with the United Nation’s mission to improve conditions around the world.
Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury said that the Pope is an “extraordinary man” who has transformed the purpose and direction of the Catholic Church with the way that he lives his life.
Then Pope has redeemed the Catholic Church’s place in political and social matters, steering people away from simply concentrating on issues of homosexuality and abortion putting the focus back on loving others and caring for the poor. Furthermore, Pope Francis is using his platform of power for good, and not for evil.
By Joyce Chu