An interesting week! A new Pope, and an 11-year sentence (less time served) for Father George Smith.
Timely indeed that Father Smith would be sentenced and his dirty deeds made known to the world one short day after white smoke billowed from that little chimney perched ever-so-briefly atop the Sistine chapel.
Good news with the 11-year sentence. Let’s hope it sets a precedent across the country, not only for clerical molesters, but for all molesters. I have said before and will say again that I don’t think it’s long enough, -but relative to two years? fantastic! Change has to start somewhere.
As for the white smoke…
I, like many I am sure, have been watching and reading up on the the every move and word of Pope Francis. I haven’t posted much of this because, as with pre-conclave media coverage, I find that there is once again an over-abundance of speculation and spin. In fairly short order we will start to find out who this new Pope is, how he he will lead and how he will deal with the sex abuse scandal in the Church.
So, for now, I have posted a few video clips.
My own personal impressions to date?
I believe we have a genuinely humble Pope. This is no show. It’s very real. That is a blessing.
Pope Francis is his own man. He speaks with clarity and conviction, and with love.
I see a man of great compassion, and also one who laughs and smiles both readily and easily.
I see holiness, and a deep love of souls.
The fact that he chose the name Francis is significant, not only in that he chose to break ground with a new name, but, as we now know, also in that the “Francis” is after Saint Francis of Assisi.
In his choice of name every Pope conveys a message of his hopes for his reign.
Pope Francis plans, in some fashion, to pattern his reign after the life of St. Francis.
Saint Francis is known to many for his love of animals, and for the Peace Prayer of St. Francis. Regarding the latter, there are questions as to who actually penned the words and the general consensus is that it was not St. Francis. No matter, the words still somehow reflect all that we think St. Francis to be.
But beyond all of that, St. Francis lived a holy life of abject poverty and humility. He was a ‘fool’ for Christ. He had a deep devotion to the Passion of Christ and was overwhelmed by His suffering. He bore the stigmata, the five wounds of Christ. St. Francis also loved to meditate on the nativity, – the birth of Our Lord. In fact, St. Francis is credited with recreating the first living manger scene from whence came the custom of the creche and nativity scenes at Christmas.
And, yes, St. Francis was called by God to fix up the church! Such is the history of the Church.
The Church, as we all know only too well, is once again in dire need of fixing.
We shall see where our new Holy Father leads. The life of St. Francis fits in there somehow. And who has not seen in Pope Francis this humility and desire to live a life of poverty for love of God?
I pray that the compassion which I see in our Pope will translate into compassion for victims of clerical sexual abuse – those countless souls, all of you, the lost sheep.
I think it will.
How will the Pope deal with this mess? how will he deal with this terrible mess and all the wolves in sheep’s clothing who have hijacked the Church?
I have no idea. I pray for him. We must all pray for him, that he will have every grace required to do what must be done. It won’t be easy.
I am hopeful 🙂 Like all of you I am sure, I am watching.
Enough for now,