Pope Francis is the 266th and current pope of the Catholic church. At 78 years old, he continues to bless and be one of the most dominant spiritual leaders in the world today. He made the decision to visit America for the first time, and he had a lot planned with little time. As he first arrived in America, he exited the car and was so pre-occupied taking “selfies” with school children that he was 20 minutes late to the White House. This kind of tardiness is genuine and sincere, as he is showing his compassionate love for all ages. Spending the time to reach out to children who do simply can not understand how important of a figure he is depicts what kind of a holy man Pope Francis is. I am not Catholic, but I have the utmost respect for this man, and the Godly works he does in and out of our country. There were many happenings that were well covered by journalists, from meetings with certain individuals to his final mass in Philadelphia, Pope Francis made the most of his time here in America.
One of the Pope’s first visits took place at the “World Meeting of Families” in Philadelphia, a festival headlined by Mark Wahlberg. After a soloist performance by a young singer, the individual told Wahlberg that he really enjoyed his raunchy comedy “Ted”. Wahlberg joking responded by telling him the movie was not appropriate for a boy of his age. Wahlberg then turned to Pope Francis and asked for forgiveness for the movie “Ted” and was greeted by laughter from the audience. I do not know if the Pope understood what he was talking about, and he himself also responded with laughter. Wahlberg then proceeded to explain that he had always hoped the Lord had a good sense of humor when it pertains to many movies he has created. It was very interesting to learn that the Pope had taken the time to attend such a ceremony, and the impact he had on all of the families invested in the organization had to be incredible.
Pope Francis spent time with sex abuse survivors, in a meeting that included many bishops from across America. “God weeps for the sexual abuse of children” he said solemnly.“I have in my heart, the stories of suffering and pain of the minors who were sexually abused by priests. And, it continues to overwhelm me with shame that the people who were charged with taking care of these tender ones violated that trust and caused them a profound pain. God weeps.” These words are heavy and spoken with such extreme tenderness that I know in my heart they are genuine. Pope Francis is truly pained by the hurt caused within the church and was making an effort to bless victims that have publicly made the violations known. Pope Francis then said he was committed to “a careful vigilance of the church to ensure that youth are protected, and I promise that all those responsible will be held accountable.” Such serious issues being addressed by the man who is the worldly leader of the religion being scrutinized is inspiring to hear. Instead of appearing in the US and taking the easy way out to only address the positive aspects, he instantly tackles the most serious problem. Such humility and grace are lessons being taught by a holy teacher.
On Pope Francis’s final day in the United States, he began the day with a visit to Philadelphia’s largest prison- The Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility. The inmates built a special chair for Francis to sit on while he met with the young prisoners and corrections officers. Francis told the inmates they are not alone and to not feel deserted during their time in prison. He also stated that the faithful should stay committed to helping the prisoners because ‘no one is perfect.’ To conclude his stay in America, the final US mass was held in Philadelphia, and was expected to draw in the largest audience from the tour. More than 1.5 million people were expected to try and experience the Pope’s final mass, showing how large of an impact a quick visit to the country was for people of the Catholic faith.