Changing the Conversation … almost without saying a word
Father Larry Synder, President of Catholic Charities, has lived under 7 Popes. So he has indeed “seen them come and seen them go”.
In a thoughtful piece on the website of the Catholic Health Association Father Synder concludes “Pope Francis is changing the conversation — and he’s changing it for good.”
He captures many of the paradoxes of this person who has rocketed to the top of the celebrity ranks.
“He has changed the conversation without saying a word.
If there was ever any meaning to the proverb “actions speak louder than words” it surely fits Pope Francis. Probably each one of us has a favorite image that got us to think or maybe even shocked us.
“When he does speak his words center on his concern are the poor” To many they seem radical. But to others they echo words and insights of the last few Pope contained in what is referred to as the Church’s best kept secret – Catholic social teaching.
“Pope Francis is not a politician. When he speaks and acts, he does so out of the church’s prophetic tradition. ”
So yes, “Pope Francis is causing a lot of talk throughout the world. Much of it focuses on his actions that show him to be a shepherd who smells like his sheep. Much of it focuses on his message of God’s mercy and compassion, rather than simply on God’s judgment.”
He concludes “The true test of his impact will be on how much all that talk turns into action, on changing systems so that all people receive dignity and respect and opportunity.
Pope Francis is changing the conversation — and he’s changing it for good.”
Be sure to read the full text of this well written article from the current issue of the Catholic Health Association .
See Carol Keehan’s introduction to this article…
What a gift to the church this pope is — what a gift to the world he is. What an example he is to each of us. I often reflect on how deep his faith must be. Pope Francis knows full well the serious wounds of the church, the suffering of so many and our failures to respect the dignity of our brothers and sisters. He has shown clear intent to deal with them as priorities, yet he has written and spoken so clearly on the joy of the Gospel. His radiant smile and obvious delight to be with people confirm how deeply he believes and lives this joy. Watching him with any group, be they kings or prisoners, soccer stars or the severely handicapped, is a grace in itself. Equally inspiring is watching their response to him.
Catholic Health Association
By: Rev. Larry Snyder, MDiv, MPA
REV. LARRY SNYDER is president of Catholic Charities USA, headquartered in Alexandria, Va.