March 14, 2013
Tracking Pope Francis: Rockin’ the Modest
Dear Pope Francis,
Congrats, you’re off to a flying start. So desperate is the media for a worldwide political celebrity (Obama still bringing it, but not exactly a fresh face), you could be the man. You’ve got a brilliant opportunity here, especially with Argentinians reacting to winning the Papacy like it was the World Cup, nationalism (and an up-and-coming hemisphere) being the perfect fuel right now to propel you into orbit. If the hardline conservatism is a bit too Benedict-ish, we’re certainly hooked on the social compassion and, for the time being at least, you’ve got our attention.
We know we got hung up a bit by the photos of you mixing it up with Kirchner, but it was good to dispense with that early, no? One day out, by the way, we notice that the file photo of you washing the foot of the parishioner is circulating nicely.
And then, what an elegantly simple act on the balcony, forsaking the platform and establishing yourself, instead, at the same level as your former peers.
Finally, did you see the shot the AP captured of you walking through St. Peters for the Cardinal’s meeting? I’d call it a triple. Highlighting your humility (and distain for private transportation), we see you out there walking the walk. Then, because it was taken before the Pope-picking was fully underway, it showcases you the way you like — as a mere civilian. Finally though, you also benefit from the divine twist, the colleague getting handled by a gust from Mother Nature while you remain largely protected … likely by the hand of God.
(photo 1: Tony Gomez/Reuters caption: The archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, washes the feet of a unidentified woman on Holy Thursday at the Buenos Aires’ Sarda maternity hospital on March 24, 2005.photo 2: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters caption: Pope Francis appeared on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica shortly after being chosen to lead the Roman Catholic Church.. photo 3: Andrew Medichini / AP. caption: Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, left, holds on to his umbrella next to Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as they walk in St. Peter’s Square after attending a cardinals’ meeting at the Vatican on March 6, 2013.)