Pope Francis: Two years of "peaceful revolution"

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Pope Francis: Two years of "peaceful revolution"

By Fr. Rif'at Bader

On this very day, March 13, but in the year 2013, a new Pontiff stood at the podium in the Vatican and gave himself a simple name "Francis". He emerged without wearing the traditional red attires on the election day. He pointed out since the very first moment that change was coming to the Church by concentrating on the human essence rather on significant jubilations, namely the real essence of the Christian life, which is represented in the love for God and the love for the neighbors, especially the pained, the suffering, the sad, the poor and the marginalized neighbors.

Over a period of two years, "Pope Francis" sympathized with human pain and called on everyone to be attentive to his needs and to supporting him through manipulating good words accompanied by good deeds. Travelling from one country to the other, the Holy Land had the honor to welcome the Pope of simplicity and humility in 2014 exactly 50 years after the visit of his predecessor Pope Paul VI who was beatified, by Pope Francis, a few months after the the universal canonization of Pope John Paul II and John Paul XXIII. The residents of the Holy Land and the whole world are awaiting the canonization of Arab Palestinian nuns Marie-Alphonsine Ghattas and Mary of Jesus Crucified.

The Pope of "alleys, the poor and the suburbs,"--as the media likes to refer to him--provides his services in spite of him relatively being advanced in years, where he focuses on terms that would bring the world closer and transform it not only into a small village, but into a one family where the strong support the weak and the rich support the poor, which is similar to the "culture of encounter", the "globalization of solidarity", and the elimination of the "culture" of indifference and alienation among humans.

We recall the past two years with thanks and appreciation to God in the first place, and secondly to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI whose optional resignation paved the way for the election of Pope Francis --who is well-known for his "humility, humanity and sense of humor," as the people of the Philippines referred to him during his recent visit-- who was the fourth grand pontiff to visit the Holy Land, and for his era during which the fiercest stage of persecution against the Christians took place. The persecution is not a sign of weakness but rather a sign of strength for Christians, especially when innocent blood is shed to serve as a seed for life with stronger faith…We are awaiting the "ship of Peter" to get through the Synod of the family in its second regular sessions this year, in the hope that it will be less turbulent than the extraordinary session held last year so that the Church will reap good fruits from the year the "consecrated life" which Pope Francis had announced to be "the second year of his pontificate" and the first announcement of his, after the year of faith that he concluded and had earlier been launched by his predecessor, Ratzinger, who never missed an opportunity without referring to the Franciscan era which is far from the Farisian atmosphere as well as far from the love for swagger and wearing masks.

In the name of the Catholic Center for Studies and Media, in the name of the people of the Holy Land, and in the name of humanity, we thank the Almighty God for the blessing of having "Francis", a wise and modest leader with a vision for his Church. We pray for His Holiness as he always asks for... for days to come abounding with success and openness on the one hand and less bloody and suffering on the other in the world of today.

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