Pope Francis and John Paul I’s Legacy

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I was immediately struck by something when I watched Pope Francis at the front loggia of St. Peter’s yesterday afternoon. I thought, “This is what I remember in August of 1978. This is what I witnessed 35 years ago in Pope John Paul I.”

The man even looks like Luciani.

From all accounts, Pope Francis is a man like John Paul I. I think we will see, finally, lived out before us what could have been had John Paul I’s 33 days been ten years or more.

Francis has already been breaking some expectations. He reportedly (according to Cardinal Dolan) refused to stand on an elevated platform when the other cardinals came to pledge him their loyalty, stating he wanted to be down there with them. When he came to the loggia yesterday, he did not wear the papal stole until imparting to us the Apostolic Blessing. He asked for our prayers for him and bowed his head before giving us his blessing. He spoke directly to us.

Francis, while archbishop of Buenos Aires, refused to live in the bishop’s palace but took an apartment next to his cathedral. He refused a personal car and either biked or took public transportation. He is known to be a man of the poor, and a man who is not afraid to confront public authority if needed. He is noted for his simplicity and his poverty. He is noted for his orthodoxy in faith and morals.

He is a Jesuit, but he took the name of Francis. He shows signs of reuniting and rebuilding the Church.

My friends, just we all were amazed at John Paul I’s simplicity and his desire to be with us. We will be amazed, I predict, at Francis’ rebuilding of the Church.

With Francis we may have the fulfillment of the papacy of John Paul I. I couldn’t be happier!

I was pleased to see that Rocco Palmo over at Whispers in the Loggia (see Blogroll at lower right) has had the same impressions as me in many respects.

Let us pray for our new Holy Father, and thank God for a worthy shepherd.

About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota.
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