News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion Columns

April 4, 2013

RONN MOTT: The Pope and Me

I suppose a semi-quasi Protestant like me has no business commenting on the new Pope. However, I find him a delight.

He wants to be pastor to the Catholic believers and to those of us who do not exactly believe the way he does. His humble approach to the famous seat of Saint Peter is charming and, I would say, wonderful for the Church. I don’t believe you’re going to see female priests with this Pope, but you might see females in positions of leadership within the hierarchy of the Vatican. I don’t think you’re going to see anything radical like abortion approval or any of these far-out political stands such as same-sex marriage the world is taking without the aid and blessing of the Church.

That aside, I believe it’s high time the Church had a Pope who is a Jesuit. They have slogged through swamps and mountain ranges, ministered to the poor, took the task of ministering to indigenous peoples, built schools and universities, and took the lead in scientific and other secular endeavors for the Church. The Jesuits were not always well liked or loved. They were sometimes not to be trusted and appeared to be haughty. So much so in fact they twice lost their Order and were brought back into the fold because of the Church’s needs and wants.

The Order was founded in response to the Protestant Reformation and to the wars that swept Europe because of the divide between Protestant and Catholic. The Jesuits were founded as Soldiers of Christ and were the counter-attack and counter-reformation in the name of the Church.

So perhaps this is why the Jesuit Pope took the humble name of Francis. He is living in humble quarters, and doing humble deeds as the holiest man in all of Catholicism.

I am not a believer, but I do admire this man for returning the Church to its pastoral role, not only in Rome, but the entire world. For those of you who are Catholic, bend a knee and say a prayer for this man who, while he is looking backward, is indeed turning the Church forward. And for you, Francis, we wish you the best of fortunes in your endeavors. And from this Protestant man, we say to you, “God Bless.”

Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on Tribstar.com, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.

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