So I realize this title may seem a bit odd to non-Catholics. I’m sure some of you are like: “Well of course you’re happy. Your pope just won person of the year.” But I know many Catholics (myself included) are extremely frustrated over the way the media is currently portraying him: this great reformer who’s going to “bring the Church into the modern age.” (EW. JUST NO.) But (and maybe it’s the eternal optimist in me) I’m still happy that the world’s starting to back away from this idea that the Church is some great evil institution, even if it is for the wrong reasons, because now we have a spectacular evangelization opportunity. When Papa Paco first started getting all this media attention, a lot of my non-Catholic friends would come up to me and ask if I knew what my pope had said and I would explain that yeah I did and yeah it really wasn’t anything new.
The Pope says Jesus died for everyone including Athiests?
Explain that Jesus has given us all an invitation but it’s our job to accept it.
The Pope says we must treat homosexuals with love and respect?
Explain that the dignity of the human person lies not in our choices but in the fact that we are children of God. Explain that we are all sinners. Explain that God’s love is unconditional and even though He may not approve of our actions, He still loves us just the same.
The Pope says that women are very important to the Church?
Explain how the Church has honored women for thousands of years. Tell them about Mary. Tell them about the female saints and doctors of the Church. Tell them about all the things women do in the Church. Explain that women don’t need to be priests to be important to the Church.
For so long people hid behind their prejudices and never wanted to learn anything about the Church (and there are many that still do) but Pope Francis is starting to break down those barriers. Like Fulton Sheen said: “There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.” We’ve been given an opportunity to show people who we really are. We shouldn’t waste it.