Pope Francis a ‘controversial’ leader – CBCP exec
Pope Francis in 'humble' first Christmas Eve Mass. Pope Francis greets a child during his first Christmas Eve Mass as head of the Church at St. Peter's Basilica on Wednesday, PHL time. He urged openness to God, in spite of man's choice between darkness and light. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE
Following Pope Francis’ call for all to “shun pride and selfishness and open up their hearts to God and their fellow man,” the media director of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines praised the pontiff for being “controversial.”
“Sinabi niya when he was elected, ‘I am a sinner.’ Sinong pope na ang nagsabi na ‘I am a sinner, please pray for me’? Naisip ko magiging controversial pope ito, of change,” said Fr. Francis Lucas, executive director of the Episcopal Commission on Social Communication and Mass Media of the CBCP said in an interview on GMA News TV’s News to Go.
Reflecting on the occasion of Pope Francis’ first Christmas as head of the world’s over 1.2 billion Catholics, Lucas noted how the pope’s choice of name is evidence of his values as a leader.
“First in history ang Pope Francis. Naging inspirasyon niya ang pagtulong. Pastoral siya kesa doctrinal. Pagpastor lalo na sa lost sheep [ang pinahahalagahan niya,]” Lucas said.
The choice of the name Francis is widely understood to be a homage to St. Francis of Assisi, known for his humility and gentleness.
In his early months as pope, Francis has indeed exemplified the virtues of his namesake, taking surprising positions on the widely contested issues of homosexuality and atheism.
In the same interview, Fr. Lucas said the compassionate tone Pope Francis has taken is still in keeping with the church’s overall doctrine.
“In the Bible, sabi hindi ka pwede mag judge, don’t judge so you won’t be judged. Sinasabi nya lagi it is not to condemn but to understand. Not to scold but to care for,” he said.
But Francis’ views are still revolutionary, according to Lucas.
“Dahil tingin niya hindi siya Diyos, representative lang siya ni Kristo, he portrays and expresses what is deep in his heart,” he said. — with Patricia Denise Chiu/RSJ, GMA News