God bless Pope Francis. His humility and Christ-like simplicity are like a much needed breath of fresh air. Hopefully his humble servant leadership style will serve as a model for the rather approximately named, Prince of the Church.
Francis faces a formidable task in cleaning up the abuses in the Church and the Vatican Curia. Unfortunately, Pope John Paul 1, who also advocated reform and humility, died suddenly after only 33 days in office in 1978. May Francis see this task completed.
As a cradle Catholic, I enjoy the pageantry and trappings of royalty as much as anyone. But this pope seems to realize that the days of emperor-pope as heir to Rome's imperial glory ended many centuries ago.
While admiring the treasurers of the Vatican, it would be good to shine the light of history on Pope Julius and Leo X, who sold indulgences to fund much of ill-begotten treasurers and ostentation; along with papal mistresses and their children, it doesn't take the mind of a rocket scientist to understand why the Reformation took place.
For many of the pope and Curia, Heaven itself is likely to be less opulent than the splendor of the Vatican. Probably a lot less ring-kissing, bowing and kneeling; and surrounded by all those fishermen, prostitutes, thieves, tax collectors and murderers. What a disappointment.
I have always admired the Dalai Lama. With his humility and simple monk's robe, he is loving-kindness personified. His writings never fail to inspire.
It appears that Pope Francis, mercifully, has ditched the fur collars and red slippers. He seems to prefer a simple skull cap to the ornate miters resembling the open-mouth of a fish and apparently styled after the head of the Philistine fish-god Dagon.
What in God's name do all the frocks and frills, red slippers, ermine-trimmed capes and hats etc. ad nauseum have to do with the humble Jesus of Nazareth or Francis of Assisi?