— Fabio M. Ragona (@FabioMRagona) August 29, 2013
Francis, it has become clear, is the honey badger pope.
— Matthew Schmitz (@matthewschmitz) September 19, 2013
Michael O’Loughlin, a young gay Catholic, feels the impact Francis is already having on his peers:
At first, I found it odd, though admittedly pleasing, how the secular media covered Pope Francis with such obvious admiration. Reddit and BuzzFeed both featured the pope, often in a positive light, unusual for sites geared toward younger, agnostic-ish crowds. NPR and the New York Times were reporting on what the bishop of Rome had to say the economy, peace, and other issues of importance on a regular basis. MSNBC suggested he was the best pope ever. Even John Stewart couldn’t help but be moved.
But at second glance, it’s all so obvious. Pope Francis is so revolutionary, so engrossing, because he is living out Gospel values of love, mercy, and compassion. These values are often antithetical to those of the world, so it moves us when people in power embody them.
People sometimes ask how I can remain in the church when it’s so hostile to gay people. I explain that the church is simply an instrument I use to understand and attempt to live out the Gospel. Pope Francis recognizes this.