Archive for March, 2013

Carrying His Own Bag

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

A clergy friend of mine happened by coincidence to be in Rome this month, attending a conference. An even greater coincidence had him staying at the same clerical residence where the new Pope was residing before he was elected. My friend was able to shake Francis’ hand when he left the residence to assume his new duties.

As the Pope departed, many observers noted that he carried his own bag. Commentators rightly noted that this reflected a humility not always evident in the highest prelates of the Church.

Whatever Francis does or says in the years ahead, we may hope that his gesture won’t be forgotten. And as Easter approaches, may we all carry our own baggage of sin to the Cross, and may we all accept the gift of new life in our Risen Savior. —J. Douglas Ousley


Who is that Old Guy?

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Not for the first time, the media missed the call of the papal election. This was a bit odd, given that Pope Francis was the apparent runner-up to Pope Benedict in the last election.

Not for the first time, too, the media eagerly looked for something negative to say about the religious leader. Argentina’s authoritarian government was happy to leak innuendoes about the Pope’s failure to be sufficiently resistant to earlier tyranny–accusations that no independent authorities take seriously.

The most interesting thing about this election to me, though, was all the attention lavished upon it by the same mainstream media. Non-religious friends have been emailing me, too–when they know the Pope is Catholic and I’m not.

Everyone wanted to know who would be Pope–even though, now that he is elected, they are very likely to ignore most of what he has to say. —J. Douglas Ousley