The Pope Visited: Commentary on His Holiness in the US


"Women in the church are more important than bishops or priests." from Barbabra P.

Photo by Barbara P.

“Women in the church are more important than bishops or priests,” says Pope Francis. I know he means mothers getting families to church, but I’m stretching it to include everything moms do, the hardest job in the world, and even harder now with teens. I’ve been very hands on lately.  It’s all good, but nice to be validated by one of the most important visitors to come to the US, Pope Francis. I couldn’t be there in person to follow him around. However, HD TV is a beautiful thing and made me feel I was there, the House of Representatives and my dream home, NYC. (Philly conflicted with a high school choir campout, mom job.) I couldn’t let his visit go without comment from his biggest fan he doesn’t even know exists, me.


Pope Francis should be pope. I used to think His Holiness should be cloned and placed in congress to break up the infighting, as I stated on the radio in 2013. As the presidential election draws closer, I thought “Pope Fran for Pres” across a t-shirt would be appropriate. After seeing the pope all over TV during his US trip, I think the pope is right where he needs to be, Pope.


Yes, God got it right or indirectly He did with the vote. The pope could not say the things he does, and get the respect he commands if he carried any other title. There’s something to be said for an office with no expiration date unless the guy actually expires, or “voluntarily” steps down. The pope doesn’t have to cowtow to anyone to keep his job. He doesn’t have to get approval to make changes; he can just do it. To tear him down by digging up skeletons from his closet is pointless and irreverent. He would laugh it off anyway with his famous line, “I’m a sinner. ” He nipped that one in the bud.


He asks for prayers, showing his humbleness. Sheesh. Here’s a guy that can be top dog but speaks as if he’s lower than a dog. You can’t take him down a couple of notches when he’s already placed himself there. You can’t say he lacks self-esteem either. He’s not afraid to say what he thinks, i.e. “life is valuable at every stage” regarding his prolife stance. He admonishes in such a respectful and eloquent way, it doesn’t sound like he’s disagreeing with anyone.


I watched most of his speech in Congress, the place with so much we-vs-them talk it feels like high school all over again. So many of those leaders in Congress burst into tears at various stages of the Pope’s speech. His talk of MLK’s walk from Selma to Montgomery brought a tear to the eye of Representative John Lewis who made that walk when he was a young man. Regarding immigration, Pope Francis admired the US’ ability to accept and integrate outsiders and it made Senator Rubio, a son of Cuban immigrants a little misty eyed. The pope did his homework to make it feel he was talking to individuals and not a crowd. His speech was all in English, making his message all the more powerful.


What president or movie star could master emotion like that or get the entire world to stop and listen? I don’t know the speaker of the house, Boehner. But the fact one of the most powerful men in the world was caught on camera in tears, shows, the guy has a heart.   Wow. I know if I ever get to meet the pope, I would cry and cry too. I guess that’s a pretty common experience to roll out streams of tears around His Holiness. I think the Pope really got to Boehner and that’s why he resigned the very next day after meeting him. He won’t say that’s why, but if you listened to his Q&A after the speech, he choked up talking about the one-on-one he had with the pope in the hallway. Something electric transpired between the two when the pope grabbed Boehner’s left arm.


“Holy Father” is really a fitting way to address the pope, especially at a time with congressional bickering at an all time high. It kind of warrants a parent stepping in to put people in their place. His parting words could not have been more poignant but so simple, quoting the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” And it stuck! Boehner quoted the pope’s directive over and over in his resignation press conference. His advice to the next leader: Just do the right thing and the right thing will happen. I hope the rest of Congress takes heed of the Pope’s message too, be kind to each other.


If anyone is wondering what to give Congress for Christmas, a giant plaque with “Golden Rule” stamped on it would be fitting. I think hanging it front and center as a reminder of the best advice from the most respected man on the planet. We could all hang that in our home or office.

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Who owns one?  I like this rendition better.

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Picasso on a shoe.

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Graffiti on the Highline

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Magic Money.

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Posing for My Pro.

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I'm IN!

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As close as I could get to a photo with my idol.

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