Friday 17 November 2017

Actions speaking louder than words in Rome

FOR people of all faiths and none, Pope Francis is a shining beacon of hope in a confused and sometimes despondent world. From the moment he was named leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics last Thursday, he has done everything he could to identify with the poor, the marginalised, the forgotten and the vulnerable.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, formally installed as Bishop of Rome yesterday, again gently stated his message in his first homily as Pope. He spoke movingly about the need to think about the environment and those most vulnerable in the world who are "often the last we think about".

Today, as he faces into his second full day as leader of a church that has people in every corner of the world, it is too easy for media commentators to read unrealistic prospects into the emotive and symbolic first moments of a new and previously little-known leader. In simple terms there is a huge risk of the bar being set unrealistically high for the new Pope.

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