Is Pope Francis a Change for the better?

james kottoor                     The following is a report sent by our friend Gitanjali Sudir from NY.   “One 290250_235977559773812_6983603_oyear into his pontificate, Pope Francis remains immensely popular among American Catholics and is widely seen as a force for positive change within the Roman Catholic Church. More than eight-in-ten U.S. Catholics say they have a favorable view of the pontiff, including half who view him very favorably. 

                “The percentage of Catholics who view Francis “very favorably” now rivals the number who felt equally positive about Pope John Paul II in the 1980s and 1990s, though Francis’ overall favorability rating remains a few points shy of that of the long-serving Polish pope.

              “Seven-in-ten U.S. Catholics also now say Francis represents a major change in direction for the church, a sentiment shared by 56% of non-Catholics. And nearly everyone who says Francis represents a major change, sees this as a change for the better.”

In India?

            But how do people in India rate him, especially Catholics?  There is a great deal of talk about him among Church citizens, but hardly any among the Episcopal community. Why?

           The reason may be Pope Francis is a democrat, who believes in equality, fraternity and delights in dialogue, transparency and in befriending the poor and marginalized. Our bishops instead delights in “peackoing” in colourful royal dress and in parading their concocted otherworldly appellations like “Beatitude”  “Bishop or Archbishop”,  “Rev. Very Rev. or Most Rev.” showing one’s superiority over others, all of which may be summarized in one phrase: “Pharisaical Parading.” (Mt.23)

            Pope Francis may be appearing like a chatterbox to our bishops who hardly opens their mouths even to repeated requests, pleadings and questions. Francis believes in constant dialogue, our bishops in constant silence. Virtue ought to stand in the middle. So what do you readers suggest as the middle path for the Church in India, both for the silent hierarchical class and the chattering herds like the “pay, pray, obey” believing class? 

jkottoor@asianetindia.com 

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