Regardless of your religion or how much you are driven by religious beliefs at all, you have probably heard a great deal about the reigning pope of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis. He has made an impression, has made changes, and has made headlines, to say the least. His approval ratings are admirable—as of August 2014 88% of American Catholics were pleased with how he is running the church. It is undeniable that Pope Francis has infused the Catholic Church (and the world, for that matter) with a sense of hope and openness for a better future.
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As Inc. Magazine reports, author Jeffrey Krames wrote the book Lead with Humility: 12 Leadership Lessons from Pope Francis, in which he argues, “Pope Francis is a fearless reformer. He has taken on just about every faction of the Catholic Church in order to make it a more inclusive religion.” He is humble, he is a man of action, a man of the people and he just might be the kind of leader the world needs right now. Here are 8 reasons why the latest on Pope Francis makes him rock.
– He is from Argentina (Buenos Aires to be exact), which makes him the first pope EVER from Latin America and the first pope born outside of Europe in over 1,000 years.
– He is not against homosexuality. Yes, we’re still talking about the pope. In an unscripted interview in 2013, when asked about his position on homosexuality he publicly said that “If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them? They shouldn’t be marginalized. The tendency [to homosexuality] is not the problem…they’re our brothers.”
– He was the Time Person of the Year in 2013 thanks to his man-of-the-people ways and the burst of energy he infused into the Catholic Church. According to Time’s international editor Bobby Ghosh, “he’s changed perceptions of the church from being this out-of-touch institution to one that is humble and merciful. He’s changed the focus of the church from being focused on doctrine to becoming more about service. And he’s changed the tone in which the church speaks to one of compassion.”
– His name is no accident. Francis is after Saint Francis de Assisi, who was famous for living among the poor rather than enjoying his family’s riches.
– Pope Francis earned a degree in chemistry and philosophy before entering the priesthood. Which might explain why he recently shared some very progressive (for the Catholic Church) views on the scientific issues of creation and evolution. Pope Francis said, “The Big Bang, which today we hold to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the intervention of the divine creator but, rather, requires it.”
– He cares about people and wants to help those with and without wealth. Just prior to becoming the pope he told Argentinians to give their money to the poor rather than traveling to Rome to celebrate his appointment.
– One thing that sets Pope Francis apart from his predecessors is his openness to dialogue. While popes of the past have stayed far away from discussing controversial topics such as homosexuality, church finances and women in the church, Pope Francis openly discusses these topics.
– And our personal favorite latest on Pope Francis: He is on Twitter. Which means that the 78-year-old pope officially is savvier with social media than we are. You can follow him @Pontifex