Some recent newspaper articles written by so-called conservative Christians strike with the ferocity these journalists or pseudophilosophers show in expressing themselves against the Holy Father. Some of them even defined him as the Antichrist. Whoever attacks the Vicar of Christ on earth this way, knows that he is cursing… and does a favor the evil one.
What can a priest who lived poor among the poor, who has been called to papacy knowing that God’s Kingdom is not of this world, be guilty of? A priest who is finally applying in the first person and not only with his words, the Gospel, by adhering to Christ, that invitation which after two thousand years is still present and which you can only discover by re-reading with humility and simplicity, following what the Maestro said and what his disciples recorded in the Gospels.
The invitation is to love the Father and your Brothers. Jesus does not tell us who our brothers are because he invites us to love all those people who are next to us and whom He calls “neighbors”. The neighbor whom we should love like we love ourselves. Jesus invites us to look upwards, but to stretch out our hand towards the poor, the outcast, the prisoner, the sick, the stranger. If people around the world received the Good News entirely, there would be no need for wars and oppression. There would be no inequality: people would act according to the law of the talents.
When we see photos of African children with their tiny bodies reduced to skeletons by hunger, while our European children – or the Americas ones – have problems because they are too fat or even obese, the words of the Gospel become a guide but also a warning. The Holy Father invites us to fast and to be less selfish: it would be good for the soul “and also for the body”! The Pope is accused of being too accommodating towards other religions, but there is only one God, and everyone will see his face, those born in Italy and in Africa, Asia or Arabia, but only if we are people of mercy and god will.
Every Christian has the duty to reflect on what the Pope says because he is Peter’s legitimate successor. It would be wise of every Christian also to wait, with trust and without fear, the coming of the Christ who was not announced as a threat to our peace of mind, his coming as palm and as the crowning of a lifetime. Down-to-earth, but looking towards the sky, the only true homeland of all the human beings.