a woman died in a freak accident during this leg of the trip. While this may all sound like a downer, it only reminds us how important it is for us to help each other, and to keep on doing so.
Not every single moment from the visit has to be some kind of life-changing moment that will forever remain in our hearts. Sometimes, a moment to chuckle like this is enough. The Pope quotes scripture, and asks, “Do you love me?” Half the audience misunderstands this and thinks the Pope is directly asking the question, and respond with a very resounding “yes!”
Normally, we have opportunities to ogle women, but Chuvaness rightly turns the tables with her list of Top 6 Hot Men To Ogle During the Papal Visit. What’s good for the goose ought to be good for the gander.
True, we’re not big fans of profiteering from the papal visit, particularly big companies and the like. But considering how a simple present of a Precious Moments doll of Pope Francis turned a little child’s day around on “Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho,” this small act of generosity really does warm the cockles of our cold, dark hearts.
Most of the time, when you hear a sermon from the Catholic Church, it’s usually about homosexuality or preserving the family. And yes, these are all things the Pope falls in line with, but it’s good to know that his focus was more about corruption this time, an issue that affects other people far less than what other people choose to do in the privacy of their bedrooms.
This speaks for itself, although an entire generation knowing how to sing “Let It Go” wasn’t so bad, either.
Despite the general tone of goodwill and optimism, there are dissenting voices that came to question if Pope Francis is the real deal or merely the product of a very effective PR machine. This was topped off by an opinion piece on the Inquirer by Filipino Freethinker president Red Tani, bluntly entitled “Why I Don’t Like Pope Francis.”
If you’re wondering why dissenting voices is a highlight of the trip, it’s pretty simple: these are voices that remind us of the reality that there is a minority often ignored in religious exercises like this, and one visit from the Pope is not going to solve all our problems like magic. Last Sunday, an estimated record-setting six million people attended the outdoor mass, braving the weather and crowds. Next Sunday, how many of them do you think would still go to church?
It doesn’t matter what our religious persuasion is, or if we even possess one: to fall for the cult of personality of any one man is a mistake. Even the Pope himself would tell you that much. And it’s in this kind of honesty, even if the sobering reality that surrounds it feels a tad inconvenient to our very Catholic-oriented country, that we can say that the Pope’s visist in 2015 has done something great for us all: it allowed us to talk where other people would merely silence the minority otherwise.
Pope Francis is not perfect. The man is clearly not a progressive liberal, and for good or ill, is irrevocably a Catholic. It’s high time we stopped projecting upon him what we want him to be, and instead following his example of action over pointless bickering.
And lastly, despite the things we may agree with or disagree with about the Pope’s take on issues, when his message of acceptance and compassion precedes the hellfire and brimstone that everyone on both sides of the fence roll their eyes on, then there is genuine change happening right before our very eyes, and hope for a better tomorrow. What kind of monsters would we be if we killed hope itself too, of all things?
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