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Wednesday 22 November 2017

Pope no attention-seeking superstar, says Archbishop Martin

Pope Francis during his Wednesday general audience at Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican
Pope Francis during his Wednesday general audience at Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican
Joanna Kiernan

Joanna Kiernan

THE country's leading Catholic archbishop has said that Pope Francis is not an attention seeking "superstar".

At a Mass in Dublin's Pro Cathedral to celebrate the first anniversary of the Pope's inauguration, Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin told the congregation that it has been an exciting year for the church.

"And as anyone who has begun to understand Pope Francis can imagine, there are certainly more surprises to come," he said.

"Pope Francis has struck a chord in people's hearts right around the world. Yet he has remained himself. His fame and popularity are not due to any polished public relations operation."

The anniversary Mass was celebrated by Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown, with Archbishop Diarmuid Martin preaching the Homily.

Reflecting on the first year of this papacy, Archbishop Martin said that the success of Pope Francis's agenda depends on the "missionary disciples of Jesus Christ, and how far we are willing to make his agenda truly and uncomfortably our own and bring it into the life of the world around us."

Dr Martin also praised the manner in which Pope Francis (right) has not bowed to outside pressures.

"He has been very firm in not allowing anyone else to tell him how he should act as a Pope," Dr Martin said.

He said the Catholic Church leader had been given a "new energy" and hadn't been burdened by the expectations of the new office.

"The church needs renewal and that renewal will only be one which is marked by the joy of the Gospel," he added.

"Pope Francis has reminded us that he is not interested in Christians with sour faces," he joked.

Our Lady's Choral Society helped add to the occasion as they sang 'Misa Criolla' by the famous Argentinian composer Ariel Ramirez, while the Mass also featured solo performances from tenor Andrew Bushell and boy soprano Andrew Jones.

Irish Independent

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