Newly elected Cardinals say the Pope’s humility is more than just a facade but is the way he lives his every day life.
In an article appearing in The Boston Globe, reporter John Allen records several examples of just how laid-back our new pope really is.
For instance, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York who is a member of a Vatican council that oversees the Synod of Bishops says members of the council were surprised in October when, instead of passing their recommendations to a papal aide which is customary, Francis showed up at one of their meetings.
“It was an act akin to the President of the United States heading over to Congress to sit in on a meeting of a House committee – i.e., something almost inconceivable to anyone accustomed to the usual protocol,” Allen writes.
Not only did he do this, but he appeared as casually as if it was just another day at the office – and even brought his own lunch box.
“We couldn’t believe it,” Dolan said later.
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Houston, Texas, described a surprising run-in with the pope during last week’s Consistory.
“We went down for the coffee break in the morning, and I’m in the crowd at the bar,” DiNardo told the Globe. “I turn around, and it’s the pope! He’s in line to get coffee himself, no flunkies surrounding him.”
“You’re both shocked and embarrassed, but this is how he wants things,” DiNardo said. “He’s told people this is what he wants.”
Cardinal Dolan said he had a similar experience while checking his coat just before entering a morning meeting. He turned around and there was Pope Francis standing in line, waiting to check his coat.
“I have to say, it was kind of stunning,” Dolan told the Globe.
Cardinal Gerald Lacroix of Quebec, Canada, told Allen that Francis shows up in the dining hall of Santa Marta without fanfare, merely waves to the guests and sits down to take his meal.
It seems only fitting that during the Mass he celebrated with the new Cardinals on February 23, Francis reminded them that they are servants not courtiers. “A Cardinal enters the Church of Rome, not a royal court. May all of us avoid, and help others to avoid, habits and ways of acting typical of a court: intrigue, gossip, cliques, favoritism and preferences,” he said.
It’s an example he is not afraid of giving to others.
Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., said there’s nothing to fear in Francis’ laid-back style.
“He’s the 265th successor of St. Peter, so his style is secondary to his reality,” Wuerl said. “He’s still the rock.”
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