Friday, September 13, 2013

New approach characterizes Pope Francis' first six months




September 13, 2013. (Romereports.com) On a rainy spring evening exactly six months ago, cardinals stunned the world when they elected Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis. Since his election, he has been unafraid to incorporate his personal style into the papacy.

His simple style and accessibility is exemplified by his decision to stay at Casa Santa Marta, where he continues to celebrate daily Mass for certain Vatican groups. His public appearances continue to draw large groups of pilgrims, seeking for a chance to get up close to the Pope, since he regularly stops to greet people.

Pope Francis has maintained a packed agenda. He kicked off his papacy with a busy Holy Week schedule. He has celebrated Masses all across Rome for the liturgical calendar. And in July he made his first international trip for WYD in Brazil.

Even during summer, when Popes would usually rest at Castel Gandolfo, Pope Francis stayed at the Vatican. He continued to meet with people, and make sporadic appearances in public. And when he wasn't in public, he would take the time to call pilgrims that wrote to him.

Policy-wise, Pope Francis has also taken the first steps in a much-anticipated reform of the Church. He appointed a new secretary of state, and has been unafraid to voice his opinion on global issues like Egypt and Syria. He also created three new commissions to advise him on changes to Church governance and financial transparency.

Going forward, Pope Francis hasn't showed any signs of slowing down. In the next few weeks, he will preside over his first consistory, and announce the canonization dates for two former Popes. Then, just days later, he will meet for the first time with an important committee made up of eight cardinals. In between, his liturgical and papal calendar is already filled with public events. And there's not telling what other surprises Pope Francis might have in store.

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