Thursday, September 26, 2013
Why Francis is More Popular with the Media than Benedict
The title to this post, while reflecting a recent article on the subject ("Are the Media Giving Pope Francis a Pass?" - RNS), is a bit misleading on the point of this post. My point, then? I have to admit that this brief article revealed some simple, yet signficant points that could be incorporated by many Lutheran pastors in their own ministries. Sounds odd, I suppose, for Lutherans to be taking pointers from a pope, but you should be perceptive enough to spot these things when you see them. I would recommend reading the article for yourself, but here are the main points made (although not all are equally applicable). Why does the media seem to like Francis more than Benedict? - 1.) Few knew him before he became pope, 2.) Francis is empathetic and humble, 3.) Style becomes substance, 4.) He practices what he preaches, and 5.) Francis is not Benedict. Francis connects with people with a sense of genuineness that also betrays the ability to truly relate. In other words, he's not removed from the world. He may live in a kind of 'gated community,' of sorts, but that does not keep him from interacting with the common and the poor. He seems to understand the pastoral nature of his position and he acts as much like a regular parish priest. To be pastoral means to minister to real people where they are at with a real sense of love and concern. More could be said, but the point was made, and I confess I am still growing into this.