Is Pope Francis an Agent of Change?

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Is Pope Francis an Agent of Change?

The new Pontiff faces many challenges…

A long line: Francis is the 266th Pope
The state of the Church:

6.7 billion: number of people in the world
2.2 billion: consider themselves Christian
413,418: number of priests in the world
100 Years Ago: 290 million Catholics
1.1 billion: Present day Roman Catholics

What they think:
Individuals who have divorced and remarried outside of the Catholic Church, are living in sin preventing them from receiving Communion:
• 38 % agree
• 58 % disagree
Should priests be allowed to marry?
• Yes: 50%
• No: 47%
Should women be allowed to become priests?
• Yes: 45%
• No: 51%
Should abortion be allowed….
• In all cases: 9%
• In some cases: 53%
• Never: 33%
Support the use of contraceptives?
• Yes: 78%
• No: 19%
Support or Oppose gay marriage?
• Support: 30%
• Oppose: 66%

Pope Francis: A timeline

Personal name: Jorge Mario Bergoglio
• First pope born outside Europe since St. Gregory III and first from the Americas.
• First pope to use the name of St. Francis of Assisi
1969: Bergoglio ordained as a priest.
February 28, 1998 – Named Archbishop of Buenos Aires.
February 21, 2001 – Is made a cardinal by Pope John Paul II.
February 11, 2013 –Pope Benedicgt XVI announces his retirement.
March 13, 2013 – Bergoglio is elected pope by 115 cardinals.
March 19, 2013 – Pope Francis is inaugurated
March 26, 2013 – The Vatican announces that Pope Francis will stay in a suite in the Vatican hotel instead of moving into the papal apartment.

A different “kind” of Pope?: Francis, In his own words
“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”
Church has the right to express its opinions but not to “interfere spiritually” in the lives of gays and lesbians.
“And I believe in God, not in a Catholic God, there is no Catholic God, there is God and I believe in Jesus Christ, his incarnation.”
“War is madness. It is the suicide of humanity.”
“It hurts me when I see a priest or nun with the latest-model car. You can’t do this. A car is necessary to do a lot of work, but, please, choose a more humble one.”
“Heads of the Church have often been narcissists, flattered and thrilled by their courtiers. The court is the leprosy of the papacy.”

The people’s Pope?:

Then:
• Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Italian immigrant parents.
• He had a girlfriend. “She was one of a group of friends I went dancing with.
• He worked as a bouncer in a Buenos Aires bar to earn money as a student.
• He is a passionate fan of San Lorenzo Football Club, his local team.
And Now:
• He lives in Vatican guest house
• Cooks his own meals
• No Pope-mobile. Rides a Ford Focus
• He tweets: “With utmost firmness I condemn the use of chemical weapons.” Sept. 3
• He talks about abortion, gay marriage, contraception (Sept.30)
• Embraces man with disfigurement disease (neurofibromatosis)
• Carries his own bags, seen while going to World Youth Day
• Refuses to wear the red shoes
• Turning the 26 million pound’s ‘bishop of bling’ mansion into a soup kitchen
• Love-able: Let the boy sit in his chair during an address, Oct. 30, 2013
• Sneaks out to be with the homeless, disguised as a minister
• Speaks against economic exclusion – tyrannical capitalists
• Calls out the mafia
• Washing feet of the less fortunate
• Removes statues of himself

A Rock Star Pope
• Highest favorability rating: 92%. By comparison, Pope Benedict’s highest favorability was 76% (2013), Pope John Paul II’s 87% in 2005.
• 6.6 million: number of people drawn to Vatican in Pope Francis’ first year, 3X more than Pope Benedict in his first year.
• 3.7 million: number of people attending his World Youth Day mass in Rio de Janeiro, 2013.
• Time Magazine’s Person of the Year (2013)
• Esquire Magazine names him Best Dressed Man of 2013
• On the Cover of Rolling Stone magazine (February 2014)

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Sources:
http://www.univision.com/interactivos/openpage/2014-02-06/la-voz-del-pueblo-matriz-1
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/06/pope-francis-most-controversial-quotes_n_4032665.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/pope-francis-gets-high-ratings-from-catholics-according-to-poll/2013/12/10/7b546778-61dc-11e3-8beb-3f9a9942850f_story.html
http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/1/2/pope-draws-6-6-millionpeopletovaticanin2013.html