04 July 2015
One of the criticisms justly levelled against some Popes and Bishops is their complete lack of pastoral experience and possibly even pastoral impulses or sensibilities. One of the things that has captured the world's imagination and in fact has raised the specter of sacrifice and hope-as-reasonable in a world often overwhelming in its disorder, hostility, greed and desperation is the unquestionably pastoral papacy of Francis. Especially, Francis is paradigm of the Church, a model of priesthood, an exemplar of religious life and the very servant-aspect of God's priestly people we are all called to live and reveal to our world.
The cartoon above captures beautifully the all-embracing concern and nature of Francis' person and papacy. It points especially to his recent encyclical, Laudato Si, and says he is imaging the Christ he follows in ways which are unmistakable, ways we should truly be able to expect of any disciple of Jesus. So many cartoons are caricatures whose message is bitter. Both the Church and world have a right to be grateful to God and to Francis as well that there is nothing in this one that is not edifying and inspiring.