- Posted March 19, 2013 by
Muntinlupa City, Philippines
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Catholics: Your views on new pope
About the Papal Inauguration of Pope Francis
- 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!