Letters & Opinion

Pope Francis Is Leading His People …back To Jesus?

Pope Francis
By Peter Josie
By Peter Josie

THE idea of faith or a belief in an unseen god has never fazed me. To be perturbed had seemed that one had first to nurse competing thoughts. It was either one accepted a supreme, all-knowing God or that one accepted his antithesis – the Devil. Put that way, what was a child to do? I make no claim even at this ripe age to fully understand the mysteries and power of an all knowing and all seeing God. Yet when I count the times that my life has been spared I can lay no irrefutable claim that, something (or someone) more powerful, more forgiving and more thoughtful was not at work.

Certain saving graces I could not put down to mere luck, or serendipity or, anything else than the many prayers, ejaculations and pleadings of my loving parents to that all merciful God. The spiritual universe now embraces them in eternity having both departed mortal life. I have also comforted myself that, that inner spirit of faith is shared equally by millions of Catholics, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, and Muslims among others.

In my mid-teens when my Catholic affiliation was challenged my standard reply was that ‘the Catholic Church may have fallen short and there may be sinful priests; but show me which other religious leaders have not also fallen short.’ Sometimes the next question to me was: ‘How old are you?’ – At which point I simply walked away, not answering.

Soon, I began to read whatever history was available on the operations of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. I was fascinated with the misbehaviour and political shenanigans of certain early popes. How could I reconcile such conduct with ‘the successors of St. Peter?’ Peter, the simple fisherman who became the chosen ‘rock’ upon whom Christ invested the mission to perpetuate his message. Could Peter have been as naughty as some of these early popes? I wondered.

Given such negatives relative to the early popes, my curiosity was aroused when I first learnt that Pope John Paul the Second was to visit Saint Lucia. On hearing the news my mother who had lost the use of her legs, and used a wheel chair to get around, decided that she would walk again if the Pope would only pray with her. In the face of such faith, who could deny her wish? On the Pope’s visit we did what we could to get her to the Catholic Cathedral in Castries where the Holy Father was to celebrate mass. At one point a Cardinal who had accompanied the Pope took a firm hold of both my mother’s knees and commanded her to ‘stand-up and walk.’ She dutifully obeyed! Who cared, he was not the Pope? She had lost the strength in her legs after years of inactivity, so she was only able to walk a few short steps. But she walked! Should I have been vexed with her for placing such abundant faith in mere man?

Yet, for me, Pope John Paul the Second was a side issue. My real interest was in John Paul the First who had seriously aroused my already active political mind by what I had read about him and the changes he envisioned for his Catholic Church. John Paul the First was the first Pope as far as I could tell, to have combined the names of two of the most powerful and influential followers of the early Jesus. That name taking was new, but not controversial.

Pope Francis
Pope Francis

By my Catholic standards, Pope John Paul the First was a radical. And I like radicals! People who want to make deep sweeping changes for better always appeal to me. Perhaps that’s what so fascinated me about Jesus Christ – and the new Pope Francis. Pope Francis seemed determined to turn his church back towards the Jesus Christ which millions of Catholics and other Christians have encountered in the new testaments of Holy Writ. For this reason many people believe that Pope Francis is leading his people away from man-made teachings and rules, to the simple message of love, of tolerance, of bearing wrong manfully and calmly and with dignity.

I pray that Pope Francis will be spared by the demons that have taken hold of the Christian churches and who use it for power politics whilst growing fat and lazy on the regular offerings from the widow’s mite. Other con-artistes and evil men may also have infiltrated the many other community churches throughout the world. Their mission seems to be to get very rich, very fast.

Pope Francis is gently persuading, if not exactly demanding, that the Catholic Church returns on its spiritual journey to Damascus perchance to rediscover the new light of Saint Paul’s transformation. It may be the best thing a pope has done for those who wish to witness the source of Paul’s faith. That spiritual light may eventually lead to the one Jesus so many wish to encounter in their daily challenges. This hard and unfriendly world can certainly do with new light – Jesus.

If it was Jesus who led to Pope Benedict’s resignation, it was one even greater which chose Pope Francis as replacement. The first thing about Pope Francis was his choice of name. The only other of significance I recall was Francis of Assisi. The prayer associated with Francis of Assisi asks of God to make of him an instrument of His peace. I had neglected that prayer until I heard the name the new Pope had chosen. I am happy to say that I suspect, yes suspect, that my faith has been renewed and that there is hope even for one such as me.

Since becoming Pope, Francis has been working to turn the Catholic Church around towards Jesus. So far, he has openly referred to himself as a sinner. I liked him even more after that. Yes, I admit I like sinners. I hate sin but I like people who dare to commit sin for whatever reason. A sinner is someone who can be made better. A non-sinner is no fun, no challenge.

During his visit to Cuba and the USA Pope Francis consistently asked people to pray for him. He has since becoming Pope lessened the stain of divorce and annulment of marriage in the church. Annulment claims that there was never a sacramental marriage, before God. Removing the haste to excommunicate Catholics also speaks well of the Francis papacy. This is what Jesus would have done. As I see it, Pope Francis is trying hard to bring back Jesus Christ within His Church and the Church back to Jesus.

It is becoming increasingly clear that Pope Francis is determined to get his priests, bishops and religious off their safe sanctuaries and go into the villages and rural communities to meet the poor, the sick, the homeless and to feed and clothe them. This is the central message of Jesus Christ as most Christians understand it. Forgiveness, even as we insist that justice be done, is a lesson worth remembering.

There is still a mountain of desirable changes to be implemented to save the Catholic Church. Pope Francis seems up to the task. That was the pervasive message felt throughout the USA on the occasion of the Pope’s recent visit. Hopefully, the cities of Washington, New York and Philadelphia will long remember Pope Francis and be moved by his simplicity, his love and his faith.


  1. Rome is on Fire! and you re-hash all that is already known about this pope?
    Caligula is prancing-uum marching- in the streets with a darkie pre-pubescent massaging his shoulders! and you talk of Catholic Reformation!
    Sarah Flood upstages Mary Isaac as potential ‘Lady Macbeth’ and you dip your head -ostrich like-in the “glo-benni” of the Minor Basilica!!!!
    PEETAR PITY PETER, the age of truly radical Protestants – is long gone with the wind via Calvin, Knox, Luther, et al.
    Trimming & downsizing to a more viable core of authenticity -among the world’s great religions- is his potential mantra.
    In the pursuit of Our Divine God, We certainly wish him the best- but the Ground shaking / rethinking grandiosity of the German Reformation – don’t bet on it!
    Here is the simple but big challenge for all of his ‘Francis of Asissi’ humility:
    Even common folks are well aware that you get a better price by BUYING DIRECT!
    Most purchases include the middleman’s remittances.
    Therefore, if they can bypass the middle man and buy direct –
    then, they are overjoyed in the cost savings.
    The Pope/church as”mandatory” middle man- moreover, as projected “FAther” as in human Godhead , over the centuries- is most confusing for developing minds.
    If he can dispel this “myth” of being a human “God-head” then he will most assuredly advance ground breaking paradigm within the RC doctrines.
    Any messenger of humility is a modern blessing who echos the spirit of Jesus-and for this distinction, Pope Francis is indeed unique among his historical peers.

  2. Peetar,
    Your subject matter and timing of its publication,proves that you are practiced at the art of DECEPTION!
    Granted, you have provided a “neat” distraction to help camouflage the current HYSTERICS enveloping Flambeau 🙂
    However, your attempt to drape the contemptuous, self serving political milieu-that is the current executive aspirations of Flambeau- with the known humility of Pope Francis and his call for “institutional” refinement- is at best a deceptive juxtaposition.
    The restlessness and high anxiety among the ‘natives’ within the executive circle of Flambeau-as the November Convention approaches- is vehement, vociferous and vexation to the apparent shoe-in status of your current party leader. The dissonance stirred up by the free “radicals” clamoring for their right to challenge an impotent party chief executive position- is approaching the close proximity decibels of the legendary SST Concorde at take off acceleration.
    Peetar your Brasso is a dud- the more you polish your puppet meister the more TAR-NISHED he appears.
    You, Peetar, are most familiar with the psychological downturn of the politically depraved. of said

  3. but, the Senate Chief of the Coliseum cum upper house of the parliament – has news for Sarah Flood:
    “here i come again now baby
    like a dog in heat
    tell it’s me by the clamour now Sarah
    i like to tear up the street

    now I’ve been smoking for so long
    you know i’m here to stay
    got you in a stranglehold Sarah
    you best get out of the way

    road i cruise is a bitch now Sarah
    you know you can’t do me ’round
    if a house gets in my way baby
    you know I’ll burn it down

    you ran that night that you left me (abortion bill u sreamed)
    you put me in my place
    got you in a stranglehold now Sarah
    then i crushed your face

    sometimes you gonna get higher
    sometimes you gotta start low
    some people think they gonna die someday
    i got news you never got to go
    Come on up “dahling?”

  4. and here is”Call Me Mr. Pity-full Peetar’s “,
    sweet refrain to the reincarnation of Sarah Flood:

    ” Well I don’t know where Sarah comes from
    But she brings it for sure
    I hope she brings it to me
    And I don’t know how she does it
    But she sure does it good
    I hope she’s doin’ it for free

    Sarah gives me cat scratch fever
    Cat scratch fever

    The first time that I got it
    It was at her “aborted” SLP speech
    I got it from her “Kitty- in Boots to SLP Cabinet” episode
    I went to see Dr. Ziggy Freud
    He gave me the cure
    I think I got it some more

    She gives me cat scratch fever
    Cat scratch fever

    It’s nothin dangerous
    I feel no pain
    I’ve got to ch-ch-change- my maniac ways
    You know I’ve got it ’cause I’m going insane
    It makes a grown man howl-in’ howl-in’
    “Won’t you make my bed”

    I make Sarah purr with
    The stroke of my hand
    She knows she’s ‘flood-in’ it from me
    Sarah knows just where to go
    When she needs her lovin man
    she knows I do it for free

    Sarah gives me cat scratch fever
    Cat scratch fever-
    -on the altar of Dionysus”

  5. Pete ole boy, new beverage and snack to cozee up with your new gal Sarah Flood:

    A) 2 parts Julee Mango Puree + 1 part Cuervo Gold Tequila + I part Grand Marnier or Cointreau – Blend with 1 cup of crushed ice -added slowly with intermittent tasting for BALANCE-not all ice need to be mixed- adjust to taste, n’est pas? Voila premium Mango Margarita, oui 🙂
    B) Lightly brown some large pudue roaster wings-
    let marinade (preferably overnight in bottom of fridge) in a crushed sea salt(rubbed) / mccormic Tuscan italian herb seasoning mix and marsala wine/
    drain and save fluids to mix in a chicken broth/
    in a deep broiling pan sprayed with non stick oil, baste barbeque sauce and teaspoon TABASCO sauce thoroughly over wings cover with foil/ bake at 350 till cooked
    then uncover and broil for sealing color and added crispy ness monitoring progress every 30 seconds -do not burn!
    garnish with a small mound of soft or crumble blue cheese with celery sticks
    C) a steamy serving of stuffed chinese dumplings or the italian pasta version in chicken broth (add the drained wine seasoning from the earlier marinade while slow cooking the broth).
    D) Play a recording of the Opera “CARMEN”
    E) For dessert julienne Mango slices as bed for scoop of Mango Sherbet or Sorbet

    Go ahead with your Sea Rover swagger- Sarah Flood will melt for your rogue’s romance.
    Mary Isaac won’t mind your addition to the Flambeauyant Harem:
    Did I hear you squeal ” Menage a trois at Hedonism 11- all inclusive, Jamaica” –
    with delirious delight?

  6. Surah Al-E-Imran
    In the name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful.

    This (which) We recite unto thee is a revelation and a wise reminder. (58)
    Lo! the likeness of Jesus with Allah is as the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust, then He said unto him: Be! and he is. (59)
    (This is) the truth from thy Lord (O Muhammad), so be not thou of those who waver. (60)
    And whoso disputeth with thee concerning him, after the knowledge which hath come unto thee, say (unto him): Come! We will summon our sons and your sons, and our women and your women, and ourselves and yourselves, then we will pray humbly (to our Lord) and (solemnly) invoke the curse of Allah upon those who lie. (61)
    Lo! This verily is the true narrative. There is no God save Allah, and lo! Allah he verily, is the Mighty, the Wise. (62)
    And if they turn away, then lo! Allah is Aware of (who are) the corrupters. (63)
    Say: O People of the Scripture! Come to an agreement between us and you: that we shall worship none but Allah, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords beside Allah. And if they turn away, then say: Bear witness that we are they who have surrendered (unto Him). (64)

  7. Surah Al-Maeda
    In the name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful.

    In blasphemy indeed are those that say that Allah is Christ, the son of Mary. Say: “Who then hath the least power against Allah, if His Will were to destroy Christ the son of Mary, his mother, and all― everyone that is on the earth? For to Allah belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is between. He createth what He pleaseth. For Allah hath power over all things.” (17)

    (Both) the Jews and the Christians say: “We are sons of Allah, and His beloved.” Say: “Why then doth He punish you for your sins? Nay ye are but men,― of the men He hath created: He forgiveth whom He pleaseth, and He punisheth whom He pleaseth: and to Allah belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between: and unto Him is the final goal (of all).” (18)

    O people of the Book! now hath come unto you, making (things) clear unto you, Our Messenger after the break in (the series of) Our Messengers, lest ye should say: there came unto us no bringer of glad tidings and no warner (from evil): but now hath come unto you a bringer of glad tidings and a warner (from evil): and Allah hath power over all things. (19)

  8. Surah Al-Kahf
    In the name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful.

    Do then those who disbelieved think that they can take My slaves [i.e., the angels, Allâh’s Messengers, ‘Īsā (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)] as Auliyâ’ (lords, gods, protectors) besides Me? Verily, We have prepared Hell as an entertainment for the disbelievers (in the Oneness of Allâh Islâmic Monotheism)[]. (102)

    Say (O Muhammad SAW): “Shall We tell you the greatest losers in respect of (their) deeds? (103)

    “Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life while they thought that they were acquiring good by their deeds![] (104)

    “They are those who deny the Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of their Lord and the Meeting with Him (in the Hereafter). So their works are in vain, and on the Day of Resurrection, We shall assign not weight for them. (105)

    “That shall be their recompense, Hell; because they disbelieved and took My Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and My Messengers by way of jest and mockery. (106)

    “Verily! those who believe (in the Oneness of Allâh – Islâmic Monotheism) and do righteous deeds, shall have the Gardens of Al-Firdaus (the Paradise) for their entertainment. (107)

    “Wherein they shall dwell (forever). No desire will they have for removal therefrom.” (108)

    Say (O Muhammad SAW to mankind). “If the sea were ink for (writing) the Words of my Lord, surely, the sea would be exhausted before the Words of my Lord would be finished, even if we brought (another sea) like it for its aid.” (109)

    Say (O Muhammad SAW): “I am only a man like you. It has been revealed to me that your Ilâh (God) is One Ilâh (God — i.e. Allâh). So whoever hopes for the Meeting[] with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.” (110)

  9. /

    When a totalitarian regime aids and abets the rape of tens of thousands of children one would expect it to be shunned by governments and citizens alike. And any statements it might issue on matters of morality accorded no respect.
    Why should we make an exception when the regime is the Catholic Church?

    That the Roman Catholic Church is totalitarian is undeniable. Church law itself makes this clear. Canon 331 declares the Pope “the head of the college of bishops, the Vicar of Christ, and the pastor of the universal Church on earth. By virtue of his office he possesses supreme, full, immediate, and universal ordinary power in the Church, which he is always able to exercise freely.” In other words, the Pope is a DICTATOR.

    Canon 333 emphasizes the remarkable power this institution endows in this DICTATOR/one man, “No appeal or recourse is permitted against a sentence or decree of the Roman Pontiff.”
    And whenever the Pope chooses he can issue decrees related to faith and morals that not only have the power of law but must be considered irrefutable, at least since 1870 when the Church declared the Pope “possessed of that infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer wished His Church to be endowed.”

    The entire hierarchy of the Catholic Church is at the mercy of the Pope. He appoints bishops and can impose his directives on the lowliest priests and nun.

    I hasten to note that the Church was not always totalitarian. The first Christian communities were remarkably democratic. For at least the first 100 years after Jesus Christ was supposely killed, during the time Matthew and Luke and John and Mark wrote the Gospels, women (yes, women) as well as men directly elected church leaders. But that was before a new religion metastasized into the world’s most powerful, centralized and enduring institution.

    That the Catholic Church is guilty of widespread rape is also undeniable. A few years ago there was a spate of news items when sexual abuse cases first surfaced in Boston and a few other cities. Media coverage since then has withered but the issue has not. Just the opposite. In 2011 allegations of sexual abuse of minors have spread to 26 countries. In just one case in the United States the Churchagreed to pay $250 million in compensation to about 700 abused males and females. The Netherlands has documented almost 2000 cases.

    Following the publication in July of the fourth report since 2005 documenting sexual abuses by Catholic clergy in Ireland, its Minister for Children and Youth Affairs observed that the abuses described “would be horrifying if it were done to prisoners of war, never mind little boys and girls.” The Irish Prime Minister and parliament publicly denounced the Vatican for its culpability.




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