Wednesday, March 13, 2013

How Much Do I Have in Common with the New Pope?

Associated Press--Known until Wednesday as Jorge Bergoglio, the 76-year-old is known as a humble man who denied himself the luxuries that previous Buenos Aires cardinals enjoyed. He came close to becoming pope last time, reportedly gaining the second-highest vote total in several rounds of voting before he bowed out of the running in the conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI.
Groups of supporters waved Argentine flags in St. Peter's Square as Francis, wearing simple white robes, made his first public appearance as pope.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, good evening," he said before making a reference to his roots in Latin America, which accounts for about 40 percent of the world's Roman Catholics.
Bergoglio often rode the bus to work, cooked his own meals and regularly visited the slums that ring Argentina's capital. He considers social outreach, rather than doctrinal battles, to be the essential business of the church.
He accused fellow church leaders of hypocrisy and forgetting that Jesus Christ bathed lepers and ate with prostitutes.

On the surface, it seems like I have a lot in common with the newly-appointed pope. Take a look:
Name: FranT also goes by the name Francis and is also named after Saint Francis of Assisi.
Religious Affiliation: Catholic, obviously. And like the new pope, FranT is a Jesuit at heart after attending Loyola High School in Manhattan. Ad maiorem dei gloriam, baby!
Geographical Background: America(s) the Beautiful.
Acceptance of the Marginalized: Pope Francis says, "Jesus Christ bathed lepers and ate with prostitutes." FranT says, "I love skells!"
Transportation Preference: Public.

However, when you dig a little deeper, those similarities begin to disintegrate.
Name: FranT most often goes by Francis when being addressed by bartenders in possession of his credit card. Otherwise, it's usually just Fran. As far as the Francis of Assisi connection goes, you wouldn't exactly call FranT an animal lover. Let's just say that some of his hobbies as a child put a dent in the Canadian goose population of Peach Lake.
Religious Affiliation: FranT "gave up" candy this Lent and then forgot and ate a bunch of chocolate on Valentine's Day. Also, if Mallomars count as candy, I've broken my Lenten sacrifice pretty much every night. As for the Jesuit connection, most of the priests at my high school weren't exactly thrilled that I picked non-Jesuit Notre Dame over Boston College.
Geographical Background: Um, Latin America isn't really America.

Acceptance of the Marginalized: Afraid to say anything here...
Transportation Preference: I'm fairly certain that Metro North is more comfortable than the Buenos Aires city bus.

So how much do I have in common with the new pope? I'd say quite a bit, but I obviously still have some work to do before I become Pope FranT I.

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