Sunday, May 21, 2017

Perspective: A pope and a president; a true odd couple | Daniel E. Lee


“A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system.  In recent decades this warming has been accompanied by a constant rise in the sea level and, it would appear, by an increase of extreme weather events . ...”

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | UK desk
Source/Credit: Dispatch-Argus / QCOnline
By Daniel E. Lee | May 20, 2017

It would be great if President Trump were a little more like Pope Francis and a little less like Donald Trump.

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump will have a private meeting with Pope Francis at the Apostolic Palace (the official residence of the pope) in Vatican City. The event will not be open to the public. (As it turns out, I will be in Rome at that time, along with 37 Augustana students; we, however, have not been invited to attend the meeting, though it is likely we will hear some thoughts about and responses to President Trump’s visit.)

It is difficult to imagine two individuals as dissimilar as Pope Francis and President Trump. Pope Francis is just about everything that President Trump is not, and vice versa.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio (the future Pope Francis) was born December 17, 1936, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the eldest of five children born to Italian immigrants who fled Italy to escape the Fascist regime of Benito Mussolini. Bergoglio attended a technical secondary school, graduating with a chemical technician’s diploma. After graduating, he worked in the foods section of a laboratory and as a bar bouncer and a janitor before beginning theological studies at a seminary.

After three years of study, Bergoglio became a novitiate of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuit religious order). When he had completed his novitiate, he officially became a Jesuit on March 12, 1960, when he made religious profession of the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1969.

After having served the church in various capacities for nearly three decades, he became Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998. In 2001, Pope John Paul II named him a cardinal. One of Bergoglio’s major initiatives as archbishop was to expand the Church’s presence in the slums of Buenos Aires. A person of great humility, he lived in a small apartment, rather than in the elegant bishop’s residence, cooked his own meals, and took public transportation, eschewing the limousine that went with the office of archbishop.

Following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Bergoglio was elected pope on March 13, 2013, the first Jesuit to be elected head of the Roman Catholic Church. He is also the first pope from the western hemisphere. In keeping with his preference for a simple lifestyle, he lives in Domus Sanctae Marthae (the House of St. Martha, which is the Vatican guest house), rather than in the more lavish Apostolic Palace.

He does, however, go to the Apostolic Palace on Sundays to address the crowd in St. Peter’s Square (a red tapestry marks the window from which he speaks) and for special occasions, such as the meeting with President Trump.

Pope Francis is a caring, compassionate person, reaching out to everyone, including the poor and those who are marginalized. When then-candidate Trump promised that if elected, he would build a wall along the border with Mexico to keep people out, Pope Francis responded by saying that Christians should build bridges, rather than walls.

Pope Francis is very concerned about environmental issues, in general, and climate change, in particular. In Laudato Si’ he laments that the earth “cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her.  We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will.”

He expresses concern about the loss of biodiversity and notes that “because all creatures are connected, each must be cherished with love and respect, for all of us as living creatures are dependent on one another.”

With respect to climate change, Pope Francis observes, “A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system.  In recent decades this warming has been accompanied by a constant rise in the sea level and, it would appear, by an increase of extreme weather events . ...”

It would be great if President Trump were a little more like Pope Francis and a little less like Donald Trump.


_____________
Daniel E. Lee is the Marian Taft Cannon Professor in the Humanities at Augustana College; danlee@augustana.edu.


Read original post here: Perspective: A pope and a president; a true odd couple | Daniel E. Lee


This content-post is archived for backup and to keep archived records of any news Islam Ahmadiyya. The views expressed by the author and source of this news archive do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of Times of Ahmad. Times of Ahmad is not an organ of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, nor in any way associated with any of the community's official websites.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comments. Any comments irrelevant to the post's subject matter, containing abuses, and/or vulgar language will not be approved.

Top read stories during last 7 days

Disclaimer!

THE TIMES OF AHMAD is not an organ of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, nor in any way associated with any of the community's official websites. Times of Ahmad is an independently run and privately managed news / contents archival website; and does not claim to speak for or represent the official views of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. The Times of Ahmad assumes full responsibility for the contents of its web pages. The views expressed by the authors and sources of the news archives do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Times of Ahmad. All rights associated with any contents archived / stored on this website remain the property of the original owners.