10 Reasons Why I’m Falling In Love With Pope Francis

10 Reasons Why I’m Falling In Love With Pope Francis December 20, 2013

Pope Francis was recently named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, a choice that I think was spot on. When Pope Benedict vacated the papacy, I don’t think any of us expected what has come to a realization in Pope Francis: a Pope that looks a heck of a lot more like Jesus than any predecessor in collective memory.

Never in my life did I imagine that I would connect so deeply with a Pope. I grew up (and still live) in an area that is deeply anti-catholic. I still remember sitting in a sixth grade Sunday school class in the basement of my church, and hearing the teacher say: “The Catholic church is controlled by Satan himself.” Even now, anti-catholic sentiments run high, with some protestant Christians in my context rejecting the historic creeds of the church, simply because of the line: “the one holy catholic apostolic Church”. (The fact that it doesn’t mean what they think it means is no matter— anything that even hints of Roman Catholic is often rejected without regard to the merits in many protestant contexts).

In high school I went on a few different mission trips over seas, and one of my clearest memories was leadership telling us of the possibility of preaching in a Roman Catholic church– but to pray, because Satan would want to keep us out of his church.

Obviously, I came out of that culture– and today, I love my Roman Catholic brothers and sisters and am appreciative for their contributions to the Christian faith. In addition to being a wonderful leader for Roman Catholics, Pope Francis is also quickly becoming a beloved figure among Jesus followers in other traditions. For me, it is for these ten reasons:

10. He understands that social justice is at the heart of the Christian Gospel, and conservatives hate him for it.

As Jesus says in Matthew 23:23, justice and mercy are the “more important” parts of the law– and Pope Francis gets this. From the first moments of his papacy, Pope Francis has been a Pope of the poor– a heart for the poor that revealed itself immediately, even in the selection of the name Francis. Being an example of the radical message of Jesus, Francis is obviously now on the outs with hard-line conservatives. Rush Limbaugh has even been on the attack, and is now claiming that Time selected the Pope as the Person of the Year, simply to get back at him:

“The media is beside itself,” he said. “They don’t know what to do– they’re conflicted…. The media’s jealousy, envy, hatred for me has driven them into the arms of the Pope!”

Well, any enemy of Rush Limbaugh is a friend of mine.

9. He calls “unfettered capitalism” a “new tyranny“.

And, it is. There’s nothing godly about the results of economic systems which oppress the poor, and the Pope gets that. The rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer doesn’t line up with the way of Jesus– in his first sermon, he said that he had come to bring “good news to the poor”, but unfettered capitalism is clearly very, very bad news for the poor. In line with Jesus’ teachings, the Pope has criticized the disparity of wealth in the modern world. If you have six minutes to spare, this video will rock your worldview on just how unjust income distribution in our country really is:

8. He sneaks out at night to serve the homeless.

As reported by the Huffington Post:

“Swiss guards confirmed that the pope has ventured out at night, dressed as a regular priest, to meet with homeless men and women.”

Remember that Jesus guy? He was homeless too. The fact that the Pope sneaks out at night to minister to the homeless shows that the Pope isn’t just the head of the Church, but that he’s actually a Jesus follower– something that’s quite different from being a Christian.

7. He has embraced biblical modesty in a way unlike his predecessors.

Pope Francis typically dresses modestly in white instead of over-the-top religious garb, and prefers a Ford Focus instead of the traditional Mercedes of other popes. Whereas Pope Benedict dressed a bit more like Santa, Pope Francis is usually found dressing as plain as can be. This is what modesty is all about, and it’s a great example.

6. He says that we shouldn’t judge our LGBT brothers and sisters.

As Pope Francis said not long ago:

“Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord?…You can’t marginalize these people.”

To which I say, exactly. Who am I to judge someone who is seeking God? It’s my role as a Jesus follower to facilitate that connection to God, not to hinder it. My hope is that as Jesus followers we will become people who remove barriers that people have to connecting to God instead of erecting new ones.

5. He embraces those who otherwise, probably aren’t embraced.

Jesus was the guy who touched the untouchables— and so is Pope Francis. A picture is worth 1000 words on this point.

4. He spent Holy Thursday last year washing the feet of juvenile offenders at a detention facility.

My wife and I have long had a heart for kids in juvenile detention. In previous careers both she and I worked with this population and have been long time financial backers of Straight Ahead Ministries here in New England which is a ministry to kids in lock-up. What’s even cooler, is that he washed the feet of women as well– something no Pope had ever done before. This is a good lesson even for those of us who are passionate about justice– we often remember the poor and hungry, but forget that one of the people groups Jesus commanded us to care for were prisoners (see Matthew 25). We must not forget this population, and Pope Francis reminds us of this by way of example.

3. He speaks up for immigrants.

Immigrants, especially those who are undocumented, are perhaps one of the most marginalized people groups in our country. Even among conservative Christians, anti-immigrant sentiments are not only accepted but almost encouraged. It is apparently easy to forget that scripture is actually quite clear on how the people of God are called to treat immigrants. Anyone who claims to love God, but marginalizes immigrants, is a liar. The Pope’s example reminds us that we must speak up for this group of people.

“Do not mistreat or oppress an immigrant, for you were immigrants…” Ex. 22:21

“When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. 34 The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.” Lev. 19:33-34

2. He gets what Jesus meant when he said “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

During Jesus’ ministry, children tried to come to him but the disciples attempted to shoo them away– something Jesus pushed back against. This is exactly what the Pope did in a now famous scene– perhaps my favorite moment of his papacy, because this is what Jesus looked like:

1. He lives in an guest house instead of a palace.

Seriously– the guy could live in a palace but decides to stay in a guest house instead. Not only that, but he pays for his room himself. I can’t think of anything that would be more Jesus-like. As we approach Christmas next week, we are reminded that Jesus gave up his heavenly throne to pitch his tent here– becoming “God with us”. The Pope’s example in this area serves as a living illustration of the night when Christ stripped himself of all the splendor that was entitled to him, and simply became like us.

Yes, I am falling in love with Pope Francis. I never imagined that I would find myself connecting with a Pope, and even cheering him on, but this is where I have found myself. While I obviously don’t agree with everything he believes (if I did, I’d be Roman Catholic, which I am not) I have certainly developed an affection for the man and the type of papacy he is establishing. And, I know that so many of the rest of you feel this way too– Pope Francis has become crazy popular with Christians across the board, except for the hard-core conservative flavor.

So the question becomes: what are the reasons that you are unexpectedly finding yourself connecting with Pope Francis? What else should have made this list? Did it surprise you to find yourself cheering on a pope? Let’s continue the discussion down below!

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  • I have some friends who would deny that they are “fundies”… but, despite all these 10 things you mentioned, would STILL reject Francis simply because he is the pope. Anything that smacks of Catholicism and papacy must IMMEDIATELY be suspect. Don’t listen to the guy, he’s the pope… and popes are evil.

    But me? There’s still some distance between me and Catholicism on areas of church organization, hierarchy, ecclesiology, etc., that prevent me from becoming Catholic… but yeah… I’m with you, Ben… I’m having a VERY hard time NOT liking this guy…

  • I agree– there’s a lot that keeps me from becoming Roman Catholic, but I really, really like this guy.

  • gimpi1

    100% agree with you on Pope Francis. Ben. I am very impressed with his humility and his consistency. I’m not Catholic, and have some problems with some of their actions and policies, (what else is new, I have problems with almost every group) but this pope genuinely appears to be one of the good guys.

    An aside:

    “Even now, anti-catholic sentiments run high, with some protestant Christians in my context rejecting the historic creeds of the church, simply because of the line: “the one holy catholic apostolic Church”. (The fact that it doesn’t mean what they think it means is no matter— anything that even hints of Roman Catholic is often rejected without regard to the merits in many protestant contexts).”

    Really? there are Christian organizations that don’t know the difference in definition between big-C Catholic and little-c catholic? I am surprised.

  • Steve

    Regarding your 10th reason, I think Pope Francis would disagree with what you said. Social Justice isn’t the heart of the Gospel. In his interview in America Magazine, Pope Francis identified what he thinks is the heart of the Gospel:

    “The most important thing is the first proclamation: Jesus Christ has saved you.”

  • Jack

    Ben, I love your Blog and have read just about everyone you’ve
    published. And I loved this one, because, like you, I think there is so
    much to be encouraged about with regards to Pope Francis.

    At the same time, there are sometimes some comments you make that really strike me as out of place with your overall message and I couldn’t find a good way to send you a personal email. I would have preferred that, because this is nit-picky.

    “Well, any enemy of Rush Limbaugh is a friend of mine.” Isn’t very Christ-like. While Mr. Limbaugh is wrong about many things this is not a loving attitude. Taken to an extreme, the devil is the enemy of every human, and I’m sure you wouldn’t count him as a friend.

  • Thanks, Jack. (FYI, there is a “contact” link at the top of every page). I’m sure there are comments once in a while that go off my target, I do have off days and sometimes just make mistakes. I’m always open to improving.

    Thanks, and glad you found the blog!

  • Jill Roper

    I love your latest post. I watched live the night that the Pope was picked. That night he set on the road less taken. I have been rooting for him ever since. I love the work he is doing. I am not Catholic but have great respect for him. One thing bothered me though about the post. In number 10 you said that conservatives hate him concerning social justice. I find labels distasteful. Sometimes you fall into name calling using labels. That is so hard to do. I am the perfect example of a label that doesn’t fit. I dress plain (which I love about the new pope) and cover. Because of that most people think something about me that isn’t true. But not you Ben, you welcomed me in so please be careful about labels. Not all “conservatives” or liberals or capitalist or socialist believe one way. Otherwise the post was fabulous. I am rooting for the new Pope to keep shaking things up! Nicely done.
    Your covered sister,
    Jill

  • Psycho Gecko

    I’ll admit to having my share of misgivings about the guy, specifically because of the Church’s role in Argentina’s Dirty War where clergy played a prominent support role for the soldiers who were killing, torturing, and disappearing people. Still, he seems to be more the type of guy who walks the Church’s walk instead of just talking its Latin.

    I’d like to see him do more and have the church stop trying to backpedal on what he says.

    It’s probably going to be a long time before they pick another Pope like him, too.

  • The Lutherans. America’s sleeping Evangelical giant. They refuse to use the term ‘catholic’ for the precise reasons Mr. Corey listed.

    They’re also the ones who teach that the papacy is the literal anti-Christ, for what it’s worth.

  • I receive the loving rebuke from my covered sister :) I’ll be careful about name calling (which I do try to be careful of). I hate labels too, but sometimes they’re unavoidable because it’s how we name and identify things. But, I totally agree in principle– avoid where not necessary.

  • I’m not thrilled, to be honest. He’s a lot closer to what I think of when I think of “a good Christian,” and I like him overall, but he hasn’t actually changed any of the RCC’s most depraved and oppressive policies regarding women’s access to reproductive technology or gay people’s right to love–or either group’s ability to serve in an open leadership position, unless there was a very recent press release I don’t know about, and there’s still that whole child-rape thing going on. We’re talking about the marginalization of some rather large groups here, and yes, that’s a big deal for me. If he’s not addressing those injustices, then the rest of it just isn’t going to follow very well.

    The window dressing is nice, but there are some endemic flaws and problems he needs to address that he just isn’t interested in tackling. But yeah, in terms of Popes, he’s probably about the best one the RCC’s had in a good long while. I agree with the Gecko – I don’t see the RCC electing anybody even remotely like him to lead them for a good long time. I suspect he’s making them shiver in their cute red booties and probably sparking more than a few late-night worried war-room meetings with fellas in bright red hats. And that’s a nice thought. (PS: I grew up super-duper ultra-Catholic and have priests and nuns all through my family–even considered taking the veil myself as a teenager.) I really hope he does fix those glaring problems I mentioned. I really do. If anybody ever could turn that Titanic, he can.

  • As promised, five reasons I’m not a Pope Francis fanboy

    1. I don’t find anything particularly admirable about having a good PR team. Call me cynical, but after Benedict’s reign – where the public image of the Catholic Church plummeted and Catholics everywhere except for the most conservative circles were embarrassed – I find it very suspicious when the next pontiff is the exact opposite. The Catholic Church isn’t made up of oblivious imbeciles. They know where the money flow is, and they know that a good public image is necessary unless they want to go completely bankrupt. The massive surge of affection for Francis is swelling the coffers of the cardinals. This isn’t an accident.

    2. I don’t care how nice he is, I’m not going to show respect for the head of the largest criminal syndicate on earth. Just as I wouldn’t have admiration for a mob boss who funds a children’s hospital.

    3. I’m very aware of the Church’s effective use of Panem et Circensis. Growing up in a dominantly Catholic country, I remember how the Church used the war against the Protestant menace to divert attention from the fact that they were enslaving young women and raping children. How many feel-good stories have you read about Francis on Buzzfeed? And how many about the emerging child-rape allegations in the Minneapolis diocese?

    4. Francis was quite vocal in opposing same sex marriage and employment rights in his native Argentina. His statements amounting to ‘Let’s back off railing on the gays’ have to be taken with a huge chunk of Dead Sea salt. He’s still an opponent of the LGBT community insofar as letting them live their lives in happiness and prosperity. Nothing has changed.

    5. He hasn’t actually done anything. I can’t think of anything more noteworthy than giving money to some poor people and saying that unrestrained capitalism hurts people. I could do that and still have time before lunch. But then, I’m not the Pope. And therefore I fail to see what’s so remarkable about showing a bit of common human empathy when you’re the head of what is supposedly the highest moral authourity on earth.

  • Please, please have a blog and share the link. I’ve been seeing your posts around lately and always get a lot out of reading them. Thank you for taking the time. I didn’t know about some of this stuff.

  • Hahaha well thank you. I do have a blog. Shameless plug.

    http://www.theirishatheist.wordpress.com

  • Linda Olson

    Irish Atheist, I don’t know what Lutherans you are talking about. I am the daughter of Lutheran Missionaries (not religious myself). I have never heard a Lutheran say those things you claim they do about the Pope (or Catholic Church). In fact, in my experience, it’s been evangelical fundamentalists who have done that. The LCA would never say or suggest such a thing. Lutherans and Catholics have worked hand in hand around the world. And by the way, their liturgy does include “Catholic”. Where are you getting your information? If you’re talking about the Missouri Synod, that’s only one ‘brand’ and it’s not the dominant one.

  • Love your heart Ben. Blessings, your covered sister

  • I’ve had personal exposure to the WELS, ELS, LCMS, and ELCA, although I know the latter is all over the board depending on the congregation.

    But I probably should not have made a sweeping statement, considering there are 36 separate Lutheran synods.

  • Can’t be that shameless if you only gave it in response to a direct request! Actually rather shy and retiring, hmm? ;) Thank you. (PS Very well-written blog too.)

  • Johnathan

    Joining the Catholic church certainly isn’t on my radar but his approach to living his faith is admirable. Whether or not I agree with their theology and practice 100%, he is still the leader of one of the largest religious institutions in the world, which means he has a bit of clout. Setting such a beautiful example of humility and service can only reap good things. I am quite cynical any time there is a room of old men voting which of them should be the most powerful old guy, however, this time I have to say I’ve been pleasantly surprised in a way that really shook my cynicism. It almost seems, if I may say so, providential.

  • Heather McCuen Dearmon

    spot on! I love the new Pope too, and believe he will slowly but surely change many things in the Catholic church, and continue to make a huge impact in the world. Below, someone criticized you for not being very loving when you wrote “…any enemy of Rush Limbaugh is a friend of mine.” oh, for goodness sake, it’s lines like that that make me love your blog, and I completely GET that you are being sarcastic! You are very REAL and HONEST and use sarcasm to get a point across and it’s freakin’ hilarious –all these attributes are what young Christians are craving, so please don’t stop being you and writing like you do. If you can turn the comment section to “off”, that’d be so awesome. you know what they say about opinions… ;)

  • MeriMakr8298

    I, as a Jew, find him to be a Mensch.

    He’s not, as some would speculate, a demon, or a saint (at least not yet) but he does seem like the perfect reply to Benedict (who seemed to be more interested in his Prada shoes than in Salvation).

    As to weather he’s a little ‘too good’ a reply to Benedict – the Church obviously knew they couldn’t continue on the way they were going or they could lose their incredible wealth. The oddest thing is, many of those Bishops are the ones who are most unhappy with Francis.

    I worry about his long-term longevity with the way he’s stirring up so much anti-wealth sentiment.

  • s.

    But he is trying. And that’s all he can do.

  • S., he’s the pope. He’s in charge of the entire Roman Catholic Church. It’s like how people keep excusing the Bible’s various atrocities by saying that the Bible’s god simply couldn’t just say “don’t keep slaves” or “don’t define women’s value by the contents of their cooters” because the society was just sooooo out of control by then. The Pope could easily say “We’re doing this now” and what’s the church body going to say about it? I’m not buying that excuse about the Pope any more than I buy it about the Bible’s god.

  • Oscar Torrijos

    With all due respect I haveI very very serious reservations about a system that puts the Virgin Mary above The Lord Jesus Christ and then like if that wasn’t enough claims that the Pope is God’s representative here on Earth. And I wouldn’t even talk about the
    Inquisition which my ancestors had to flee to the New World and all other atrocities against people who have refused to believe in the Vatican idolatrous religion masked in Christianity. And please forgive me if I sound harsh, but I am calling a
    spade a spade.

  • Living in Northern Ireland, the protestant/catholic divide could hardly be any more apparent and far-reaching than it has been for us, since from WAY before I was born. We even delineate according to birth, NOT belief! I was raised atheist, and only found out at around age 11 that I was actually ‘protestant’!

    At 14, I became a Christian (and started trying to be a Jesus Follower [wink]) and was independent and untutored in my Bible reading for a year. Once I started attending evangelical churches, it was made clear to me just how ‘apostate’ the Roman Catholic church is, and that has never left me; I have a deep disdain for anything that purports to be Christian but detracts from the true faith in Jesus. That includes the doctrines and practices of the Church of Rome, and it also includes many protestant churches and evangelical preachers who twist politics and ignore social justice to further their own ends!

    However, I too have really got to like this guy Francis. He’s real, he cares, he’s a man of the people. He is an example to even the truest most doctrinally correct ministers that ‘stand for the gospel’ – he is calling out evil in areas that far too many protestant church leaders are unwilling or afraid to address. Francis is BRAVE, since he’s even making enemies in the Vatican conservative inner circle. He has even threatened to shut down the Vatican Bank for their excesses with dubious money! Who knows what they may be plotting against him? Does he care? No! Let our evangelical leaders look at him and see HOW to lead!

    I have met sincere Roman Catholics who have a genuine personal faith in Jesus, and do not talk of how they follow all the sacraments or see their salvation in a system but in God alone. They appear to me to be fellow Jesus followers, and who am I to judge? I also have friends in protestant churches that give me the heebie-jeebies (the churches, NOT my brothers and sisters! Well, not ALL of them lol). It’s about the walk of the person, not the creed of the organisation who’s pew you sit in!

  • bz

    Direct quite for Martin Luther himself…”We here are of the conviction that the papacy is the seat of the true and real Antichrist…personally I declare that I owe the Pope no other obedience than that to Antichrist.” (Aug. 18, 1520) Taken from The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, Vol. 2., pg. 121 by Froom.

  • Benard Mukong Kong, Kumbo – Ca

    I see Francis beyond! He affirms a sense of existence and belonging; not to the lords nor the destitute. He remains me of my roots; the source of all happiness. Francis, you are a friend, you are a true brother.

  • PietSmit

    ”Pope Francis has become crazy popular with Christians across the board, except for the hard-core conservative flavor”
    not only with Christians. I’m atheïst and have great respect for him. And I’m not the only one.

  • I’m not remotely Catholic, but I love the guy. On occasion, because of my antipathy to Church Dogma I’ve described myself as a “Freelance Christian.” I spent decades watching the shenanigans of Fundies and Tea Partiers, and thinking “I’m pretty sure that’s the opposite of what Jesus taught.”

    Now here comes Francis, and it turns out I was on the right track. Bless him.

  • ChemMJW

    Liberals despised the former pope, a conservative, and love the current pope, a liberal. Conservatives loved the former pope and despise the current. What’s novel about this? The fact that people like those who agree with them and reject those who don’t is a well known phenomenon. The fact that this particular issue is couched in terms of “God’s will” and being “like Jesus” doesn’t change that.

  • Sherry

    I am Catholic and I too am in with love Pope Francis! He is the embodiment of the Catholic faith and shows everyone what being a Catholic is. Pope Benedict became Pope during a difficult time for the Church; that along with his reticence did not endear him or the faith to many. I hope Pope Francis is Pope for a long time.

  • Woodsworld

    This meeting the Pope has with the combined House during September has Biblical implications. Even worse is his meeting with President Obama. This union is spoken of in the Book of Revelations….the False Prophet (President Obama), and the Anti-Christ (Pope Francis). It doesn’t matter how “nice” either appear…..they are exactly what Jesus said they are in Revelations 13.

    The First Beast = The Pope.

    The Second Beast = The United States of America.

    The union the have been forming for years will be formalized this month, recreating the Roman Church-State. This is the very reason that the founders of this country left Europe in the first place. Freedom of religion will be gone, and persecution will begin. Better accept CHRIST as LORD and SAVIOR NOW, and tighted up your relationship with HIM.
    Here’s what is coming next…….

    16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

    17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

    18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

  • bitesdadust

    The big problem with atheists is that they are not able to give a coherent account of being, apart from denying it; in place of explanations, all we get is mockery and a good deal of bitterness. You shouldn’t be too worried about the church’s bread and circuses in your country, since your media has a policy of discrediting anything to do with Christianity. Ask yourself these 5 questions:

    1 Since the demise of Catholicism in Ireland, are you Irish happy?

    2 Why is there a pandemic of suicide which was not there in the 1950 or 1960? Ask yourself why the media is no longer reporting this pandemic.

    3 Why are there escalating daily murders across your Emerald Isle in the last 40 years?

    4 Why is getting blotto drunk your way to happiness?

    5 Why do you Irish blaspheme the name of Jesus in every sentence?

    Tell us what circuses Modern Ireland has that makes new Molly Malone the happiest lady in Europe?

  • davidgary1

    I have fell in love with Pope Francis too. Unfortunately there are always those who will demonize the Pope well simply because he is the Pope and then there are the conservatives who resemble modern day Pharisees but the vast majority of people are drawn to Pope Francis simply because he practices what he preaches and is very Christlike. He isn’t afraid to speak the truth either. I loved his speech to the U.N too. He is living the Gospel. God bless you Pope Francis.

  • davidgary1

    Instead of babbling nonsense try listening to what Pope Francis says. He is living the Gospel. He loves people and he loves Jesus.

  • davidgary1

    Lovely comment. It’s good to see you have not let the anti Catholic sentiment in Northern Ireland get the better of you and you can see the Christlike qualities in Pope Francis. It’s refreshing. I would urge you however to delve a little deeper into the Doctrines of the Catholic faith and their roots. They have deep wisdom behind them. These ‘apostate’ beliefs and opinions may be something embedded in you from your background and culture but actually have little or no foundation. I can see no church teachings that are not in line with Jesus at all.

  • davidgary1

    That is simply not true. The Catholic church does not put Mary before Jesus at all.

  • davidgary1

    He cannot say that soddomy is not a sin. He has embraced the gay community and shown them love but he cannot and will not go against Gods and the natural law. He could not even if he wanted to. It is a fundamental issue.

  • Woodsworld

    The quote I provided is from the he Bible in Revelation chapter 13, verses 16-18. Read your Bible, davidgary1. You should have recognized these verses, IF you read the Bible.

  • Woodsworld

    The entire premise of Catholicism is anti-Christ, as well described in the Bible. The Pipe is considered to be the Vicar of Jesus Christ, or the substitute for God on earth. This is n direct conflict with what Jesus said, that he would send the Holy Spirit to take his place. The Bible also says that there is only one mediator between GOD and man, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. Catholics don’t even read the Bible, and you’re being led astray. Accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, read the Bible for yourself. Only the Holy Spirit can give you an understanding of GODS word, the Bible.

  • davidgary1

    Yes I know Revelations well and I do read my Bible like all practising Catholics. In fact we read 3 scripture readings every time we go to mass. The problem is you are interpreting revelations to mean something when nobody can with certainty say what it is. For example I could say that the beast is masonry ‘Illuminati’ Zionism etc and the dragon is Communism – China. I could say the mark of the beast will be a chip which we can’t buy or sell with etc but the truth is nobody can say what it means for certain. I can say with certainty however that the Pope is not the Antichrist and this is absolute dung lies. I’m not even going to waste my time to explain why because anyone with any common sense would already know why the most Christlike person in the public eye who works tirelessly to bring people to Christ is in fact doing the complete opposite of an anti christ.
    One more thing ‘food for thought’. Do you not think ‘as Jesus was a Jew’ and the Jews still wait for their messiah, and as Jerusalem is a city of seven hills’ that the antichrist will be a Jew? Get out of your anti Catholic bubble.

  • davidgary1

    The Pope is not liberal he follows the teachings of Jesus and the church, he simply focuses on some teachings more than other Popes did. http://www.inquisitr.com/2444864/pope-francis-i-am-not-a-liberal-my-doctrine-is-the-social-doctrine-of-the-church/

  • davidgary1

    This is all typical fundamental protestant lies and misconception. Like we worship Mary, like we worship statues blah blah. We Catholics do and MUST read the Bible- your claims are false. In every mass we read the scripture passages. I know the bible as well as any Protestant and the majority of Catholics I know all know the bible extremely well. In fact if it were not for the Catholic church you would not have a bible at all as your religion is only a few hundred years old. Also you do not even have the full bible as the reformers removed large sections of the Old Testament (Baruch, Sirach, 1 and 2 Maccabees etc)
    The difference in Catholics and protestants is that you interpret the bible individually ‘hence why Protestantism is divided in hundreds of thousands of sects’ and hence why you speak about the Pope being the antichrist and such absolute nonsense. This is simply your interpretation. Nobody claims the Pope to be Christ’s substitute – this is a lie! Was St Peter Jesus’ substitute??? NO well either is the Pope, nor does he claim to be. Catholics DO accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour!!! We are Christ’s church- he founded us and he leads and protects us as he promised ‘in scripture’. The gates of hell will not prevail against his Church. The Pope is simply our earthly Shepherd, it is you who need to read Catechism and get familiar with Catholic teaching as your take on Catholicism is based on lies.

  • davidgary1

    Yes the scripture is one of the core elements to our faith and yes misinformation is one of the main reasons many non Catholics have issues with the Church. I always urge such people to read the Catechism of the Catholic church and to look to Catholic sources/encyclicals etc to find the true Catholic teachings so they are getting the info from ‘the horse’s mouth’ so to speak rather than being malformed from certain Protestant or outside sources many of whom spend more energy attacking the Catholic faith than they do actually spreading the Gospel.

    There are many good Christian Protestants however like the author of the above article, but even he states that anti Catholic misinformation and rhetoric was a common practice in his own experience of his protestant faith. This is something that as a Catholic I have never experienced. Protestants or the Protestant faith was never mentioned in Mass or any Catholic event that I have ever witnessed apart from maybe a prayer for all our Christian brethren. I believe as the Protestant faiths historically originated from Catholics who left the Church they need to justify this hence why a large part of their belief system is based on debasing and demonizing Catholicism. Thankfully many Protestants who delve deeper into these teachings and study Catholic dogma and the theology behind it soon realize they have been lied to and mislead. Some of these people even end up converting to the Catholic faith like Scott Hahn https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyFuaXlYo8Q

  • davidgary1
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  • Herm

    I’ve noticed your votes and finally hear your voice. Thank you for risking to speak up in this “progressive forum”.

    Did Jesus have the power to change things and chose to uphold all the traditional church teachings?

    I love Pope Francis though I love Jesus much more deeply and intimately. Jesus is my High Priest.

    Bless you!

  • Herm

    I feel privileged to have such a bold response from you. Thank you!

    If you feel, anytime, the inspiration to respond to me I will welcome you. In that spirit I need to share with you that I maintain only allegiance to the unity of fellowship in and with Christ without any trappings of the fragmented religious orders of mankind. With that in mind please continue to share your allegiances.

    I do love and respect you in exercising your freedom of choice.

    May your day be blessed!

  • Herm

    The definition, googled, of trappings as I intended is the outward signs, features, or objects associated with a particular situation, role, or thing. I do feel less shackled (trapped) as I once was when answering to two masters of my spiritual life and three of my carnal life now that only Jesus is my Lord to whom I pledge my allegiance. No theology, dogma, creeds, traditions, ornamentation or buildings to maintain when Christ is in me and I am in Him.

    Actually Pope Francis has and does respond, thanks for the thought. You are in good hands.

    God blesses us all. Thank you for your response.

  • Herm

    and God bless you!

  • He has just said that there is no such thing as a Catholic God. Just one universal god. Simple as that. :)

  • Registered Nurse

    The point is entirely missed when we bypass the most important statements of all time: the one’s where the pope is God on earth. http://amazingdiscoveries.org/R-Pope_Rome_blasphemy_power_Jesus

  • Registered Nurse

    And if the pope says that… anything else he says/does is in vain.

  • Woodsworld

    What anti-Catholic bubble? Anything that is not biblically sound must be rejected, and the word of GOD serve as the only guide. Jesus said “You shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free. When you read the entire Bible, you’ll find that the Ten Commandments state that you are not to worship any idols…. If you’re praying to anyone, other than the Lord Jesus Christ, you’re worshipping idols. This includes Mary, or anyone who was born in sin, and shaped in iniquity. The Bible says “There is only one mediator between GOD and man, and that is the LORD JESUS CHRIST”. Even Mary acknowledged Jesus as her savior. The Bible is very explicit in its identification of a future false church in Revelations 17, and a future nation called Mystery Babylon, whic is the United States in Revelation 18.

    You’ve gotta get up to speed quickly, David, as time is running out. It’s well known that the position of the Pope, who’s name in three languages adds up to 666, is the anti-Christ, and it’s quite possible that our sitting president is the false prophet. Only the King James Bible is accurate, and most others are modified in order do deceive the masses. I challenge you, and everyone to find a church that preach that we are all sinners, and only the price that JESUS paid for our sins by paying for them with his own blood, and death, who GOD raised from the dead, where you can feel the presence of the Holy Spirit…….you’ll never be the same. Fall in love with JESUS……he is KING OF KINGS, and LORD OF LORDS. Everyone else is born in sin….and shaped in iniquity.

  • davidgary1

    Please watch this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqLBeCmyaKY
    The Catholic church was founded by Jesus. The Catholic faith is totally biblical. All the sacraments are biblical. Mystery babylon, 666 etc can be interpreted in a million ways. It is only anti Catholics in particular fundamentalists protestants who relate 666 etc with the Pope and Catholic church. Jerusalem is a city of seven hills as well as many other cities. There are many names in various languages that add up to 666. The reality is that the antichrist is all in the name ‘antichrist’. The Pope is a ridiculous candidate because he is 100% FOR Christ. His entire life is dedicated to bringing people, sinners to Christ. His words and actions are Christ like. I am in love with Jesus, I receive him every time I receive the eucharist. The countless Saints were in love with him too. Maybe you should read the lives of some saints and educate yourself. You have many words and accusations with no depth or truth in them just as the Pharisees accused Jesus of working with devils you accuse the Catholic church and the Pope of being satanic, yet just like Jesus all these accusations are based on lies and twisted truths.

  • Woodsworld

    David, most Catholics do worship Mary, and other “Saints”. I did not learn this in church, I learned it when I was considering marriage to a woman of Greek Orthodox faith. It forced me to do research, which I have continued for over two years, and continue to do as we are moving into what the Bible calls “The Last Days”.
    I have no need to consider Catholicism, as my acceptance of Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior fulfilled GOD’s requirement to be reconciled to him. He lives in me, and leads me in every aspect of my life. I have read the entire Bible several times, and read it every day. Jesus sent the Holy Spirt (John 14:16-17) as his representative, pointing us to Christ. There is no other. GOD is the provider of his own word, and at best, man is only the tool which he uses to document it.
    Man created religion….GOD is looking for a relationship. Salvation is by faith alone, and not by works. The only mediator between GOD and man is Jesus Christ. BTW, I know the there are Catholics that accept Christ as their personal savior…..we have many of them in our church. I have no need to read the Catechism….the Bible is the word of GOD, and the answer to all of man’s problems.
    This video among other, will educate you on the history of Catholic church, and where this Pope fits in Bible prophesy.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQGw1tKEpEg

    I have taken time to consider the issue from independent sources. This video is by a Catholic, who upon his own study, became a Born Again Christian.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Du4kCjjCd0
    I’m well educated, and served as a leader in several of the largest consulting firms, and trusted to manage some of them most challenging situation in the public and private sector. All to the glory of GOD, through CHRIST my LORD and SAVIOR.
    GOD bless you all

  • davidgary1

    Woodworld, with all due respect I have been a practising Catholic all my life and know the teachings of my faith extremely well which would make me more qualified than you are on the teachings of the Catholic Church and I can tell you with certainty that we do not ‘worship’ Mary or anyone else except God the father.son and holy spirit. To worship Mary would be breaking the commandments of God. As for salvation in faith alone.

    I can assure you that any ‘Catholics’ who claim that they worshipped Mary were not doing so because it was part of their faith. Maybe they were confused or mislead but it is not Catholic teaching or practice- FACT.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/standingonmyhead/2012/04/do-catholics-worship-mary.html

    Worshiping would mean honoring the Virgin Mary in the same way we honor Christ her Divine Son, in that sense we do not worship the Mother of God. It is certainly the will of God, however, that we love and honor the Mother of Jesus; yet this is something essentially different from the homage we offer to her Son Jesus.

    As for salvation in faith alone I really recommend you listen to this video. Just give it a listen before pre judging. I guarantee you will find it intriguing and educational..https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyFuaXlYo8Q

  • Woodsworld

    David, I was raised in a Christian home, with my mother a prominent gospel singer, and my father a deacon in the church. We had bible study at home everyday as far back as I can remember, and prayed together almost everyday. This goes back before I was four years old, for a total of 53+ years. I accepted Christ as Lord and Savior as a child, and have placed my trust in his word. Raised in Baptist and Pentecostal churches, they did not speak about other churches, but focused on preaching from the Bible. Every service, the minister said “open your Bibles to”, and everyone opened their own Bible, and the scripture was read. I am the second of eight children, and we are all productive, educated, and law abiding citizens that are all leaders in what we do. We are all family oriented at a level that is rare to see today, and we owe that to our upbringing.

    I have personally been a believer in Christ, and a practicing Christian for 45 years, and know the Bible very well. The Bible says in Ephesians 2:8-10: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. David, I am not judging anything, as I am not the judge of anything. GOD has already judged everything, and his decisions are in the Bible. The only thing that drives my beliefs are what is written in the Bible, which was firmly established in my youth. With time, the Holy Spirit provides interpretation that pertains to my life specifically. That is the beauty of this personal relationship…..you can talk to him directly. My life is a testimony of his word, and his faithfulness, which is why I am steadfast.

  • Woodsworld

    David, you are very disrespectful of me, because we disagree. I am highly educated on the subject, without bias. You keep calling me a Protestant, which actually provides additional justification of my argument. The Catholic Church is responsible for the torture and murder of millions on Christians that didn’t agree with the Pope. The Inquisitions is all that is needed to prove the oppressive and subjective approach used by the Catholic Church to force people to fall in line with their beliefs. Jesus never used force, though he was GOD in the flesh, nor did he entertain politics.

    The more I study about Catholism during our debate, the more I can see it as the great deception. You have been well indoctrinated in Catholism, as you never refer directly the scripture, but submit yourself to the teachings of men. Jesus did not found the Catholic Church, nor did he give his church any specific name. Peter called himself an Apostle, and in the bible, there is no such thing as a human becoming a saint these are all false teaching. Mary had children after the immaculate conception of Jesus, the Son of GOD. My bible also says there is nothing nay ONE mediator between GOD and man, and that this the Lord Jesus Christ. The Spirit of the Lord gives me the clarity I need on demand, and I am not dependent on any man. My church is world renoun, and I am living this life according to the word of GOD.

    You should get educated, David, instead of indoctrinated. You haven’t referenced a single scripture yet, which is the only authority I will even consider. Everything you’re trying to sell me on is easy for me to invalidate.

  • >::<

    you cant expect the pope to go against was god has clearly forbidden eg, sodomy, homosexuality just to please certain people. The rules cant be rotated ever 50 years due to political correctness or what at that time was not considered permissible that 50 years later is considered okay..

  • First, I apologise for the huge delay. Mountain of emails to wade through and sort!

    The very premise of my blog is about removing cultural baggage. As I said, being a believer who found Jesus outside of a church and who spent a whole year reading my Bible before setting foot in one, I recognise more than most how much is handed down from pulpits and does not truly square up with scripture.

    However, I have managed to make up my own mind on the RC church. I do not see the Pope as the Antichrist; quite simply, we are told how to recognise who is the antichrist (1 John 2) – whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Neither the Pope nor the RC church say that! No, I have major problems with the mass and transubstantiation, and the placing of ordained priests in the role of mediator. We are all priests and have only ONE high priest and mediator (1Tim. 2:5). The RC church is not alone in vaunting themselves as the one true way of salvation. Francis IS refreshing in his acceptance of others, but he’s just going to the other ridiculous extreme of Unitarianism. Balance is a great thing.

  • Richard Lambert

    Well….I dunno if pope Francis is really the antichrist or not, but if the stuff your saying he’s done is true….he’s not very good at the antichrist schtick, supposedly coming to make war and all… :/ . Like I’ve read some people say here, hey maybe he is and he’s just fakeing out….but ya know, I wish when I was young I had a “might be antichrist/pope francis” to come wash my feet and tell me my sin’s are forgiven and God loves me and I’d merciful…now days you have to go though paper work to get that form “totally not antichrist/American christians”….