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    Posted March 19, 2013 by
    Muntinlupa City, Philippines
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Catholics: Your views on new pope

    More from Sergiom

    About the Papal Inauguration of Pope Francis


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Sergiom told me, 'Pope Francis is a "People's Pope"`because he isn't afraid to be counted among them, and he can easily join the people to share their sorrows and celebrate their happy moments and victories. Pope Francis' great qualities of being a man of service will surely provide the Roman Catholic Church excellent leadership in this age and time.'
    - hhanks, CNN iReport producer

    Today, March 19, 2013, is a historic day for the 1.2 billion Roman  Catholics all over the world, and that’s because Pope Francis has just  been formally inaugurated as the new Pontiff of the Roman Catholic  Church and the Sovereign of the Vatican City-State. I watched such  inauguration on TV today at around 4:10 pm, Manila Time, here in the  Philippines. The said inauguration was featured live on CNN  International. The Philippine Government was represented at the said  inauguration by Vice President Jejomar Binay. Philippine Vice President  Jejomar Binay shares the pro-poor sentiments of Pope Francis. The  current Philippine Vice President created several social programs that  alleviated the lives of so many poor residents of Makati City when he  was the mayor of the said city. Philippine Vice President Binay admires  Pope Francis' austere and simple lifestyle.

    I  sympathize with Pope Francis' vision of making the Roman Catholic  Church "a poor church and a church for the poor." I saw him on TV making  ad libs and greeting some people while in the middle of reading a  speech. That makes him quite unique as a pope since he can make comments  that aren't included in the texts of his speech. He also has a sense of  humor that shows how down-to-earth his personality is.

    During  his audience with journalists last Saturday, Francis charmed the press  people, thanking journalists for their work covering the election — "and  you have worked, eh?" he said chuckling. He urged them to view the  church not as a political entity but as a "dramatically spiritual" human  institution and learn its true nature "with its virtues and its sins."  He admitted to such journalists that he took the name Francis in honor  of Saint Francis of Assisi who worked for the poor, promoted peace and  lived as an austere man during his lifetime. St. Francis of Assisi, the  pope uttered, was "the man of the poor. The man of peace. The man who  loved and cared for creation — and in this moment we don't have such a  great relationship with creation. The man who gives us this spirit of  peace, the poor man." St. Francis can be considered as among the very  first who fought for animal rights and even environmentalism. "Oh how I  would like a poor church and a church for the poor," Francis said,  sighing.

    I also saw on TV how Pope  Francis really greeted the people like he's just one of them. He doesn't  discriminate on shaking the hands of those who want to get near him.  Reports say that Pope Francis doesn't ride on the official papal  limousine and he's showing austerity even now that he's already the  Patriarch of the Roman Catholic Church. I do admire Pope Francis'  humility, austerity and 'pro-poor sentiments'. I do believe that Pope  Francis will really make the social outreach programs of the Roman  Catholic Church become truly-effective, so that such programs will  really help in alleviating the lives of so many poor people around the  world.

    I think Pope Francis is  sincere in making the Church "a poor church and a church for the poor." I  hope Pope Francis will really implement the much-needed reforms in the  Roman Catholic Church. There should be 'financial transparency' in the  key offices and banks of the Church, so that graft and corruption can be curtailed  effectively. I also believe that Pope Francis can lead the clergy  people into becoming austere and truly-humble shepherds who will  righteously serve their flocks. I think priests, bishops and archbishops  also need a "retreat" wherein they can be re-oriented about their  respective missions as shepherds of Roman Catholics. Perhaps a monthly  'retreat-seminar' can be given to the Roman Catholic clerics in order to  refresh them about being true to their calling as righteous shepherds  of their flocks. Such monthly retreats can re-orient them about  defending human rights, helping the needy and poor people, avoiding  luxuries, staying away from any form of abusive behavior, and being  selfless in guiding people towards the attainment of salvation. In such a  way, Roman Catholic clerics will be reminded not to abuse their  authority and must avoid graft and corruption. Pope Francis has now been  officially inaugurated as both the Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church  and Sovereign of the Vatican City-State. Viva Papa Francisco! Long Live  Pope Francis!

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