Mobile Pope

Earlier in my career, I spent four years in Rome. As the one of the few non-Catholic clergy on speaking terms with the Catholic Church (most Italian Protestants were either very left-wing Methodists or right-wing Evangelicals), I was invited once or twice a year to ecumenical events with the Pope. My wife and I would sometimes meet John Paul II at a “private” audience for the few visiting clergy.

Pope John Paul ranks for me among the three most charismatic people I have ever met in my life. More than a celebrity, he was truly magnetic–instantly likable.

By all accounts, Pope Francis shares the instant attractiveness of his predecessor-minus-one. While even those of us in the religious field are amazed at all the attention being paid to his U.S. visit, it is perhaps not so surprising. People are fascinated by someone who is not rich or beautiful or probably even extraordinarily bright or talented–but has the charism or gift of helping people to believe. May God bless his visit. —J. Douglas Ousley

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One Response to “Mobile Pope”

  1. John Ubieta says:

    We have so much negativity in the air that is refreshing to hear a more positive, healing message from Pope Francis. What amazed me was how even hardened politicians like Marco Rubio, Boehner, and even Chuck Schumer who is Jewish, were so moved by him. Even journalists like Carol Costello from CNN were deeply touched. I think people from all walks of life and religious backgrounds are very hungry for meaning in their lives and perhaps this Pope somehow fills that huge void.

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