Pharos-Tribune

Opinion

May 22, 2013

KITCHELL: New pope gives us hope for a better world

LOGANSPORT — I’m not a member of the Roman Catholic faith, but if I were, I think I’d be proud of the new leader cardinals chose for my denomination.

For those who may have missed it, Pope Francis, the first Papal choice from South America, is distinguishing himself right away as someone who is going to stand for being actively religious in the big picture sense, and that’s something that’s not necessarily been fashionable among religious leaders.

When he assumed the role after Pope Benedict stepped down, Francis surprised some by making a long-distance call from Vatican City back to South America – just to cancel his newspaper subscription. It was thought to be a joke at first, but it wasn’t. It’s just a sign of a man who lives and breathes the notion that no job is too small for him to do, even if he has an entire country and denomination at his disposal.

Francis took his name from St. Francis of Assisi, an austere model of devotion and selflessness. In this material world, it’s a concept that may be lost on many of us, but Pope Francis is focusing on a constituency that has no Super PACs, universities, clothing lines or branding – the poor. This week, he’s taking aim at the world’s largest corporate bankers and the concept of greed which he refers to as a cult. That may be harsh to some, but the fact is that the gap between rich and poor people in this world is growing, even as we continue to grow in population.

Since Mother Teresa’s death, no one major world figure has stepped forward to assume the pulpit of spokesman for the poor like she did so marvelously.

There are several good reasons to think about the poor and lift them up from the bottom rungs of the ladder. One is that the largest percentage of poor people in this country and the world are children, the portion of the population that has little say in how much they eat each day or how much is tucked away for their college education. In Indiana, there is a segment of the poor who will not benefit from enhanced medical services they would have enjoyed had Medicaid been expanded for them as it has been in other states.

What Francis can draw attention to is not just the concept of greed in the world, but the creeds of so many religions, nations and organizations which can set aside differences and work to nourish the truly needy. If Francis could solve hunger issues in North Korea or central Africa alone, he should win a Nobel Peace Prize. It won’t be easy, but it is necessary.

He also has the issue of resources facing him. As the world grows, demand for petroleum isn’t the only demand growing. There will be more stress on immigration in certain parts of the world, more people to feed which means more food to plant and process, and more jobs that have to be created to maintain economic stability around the globe.

According to some theories, that should all happen whether a pope raises issues associated with population or not. But the reality is that there are few people, if any, who bring the clout to a discussion like a pope can. Pope John Paul II was critical in so many issues of world importance, including the end of Communism in Poland.

There are those who will quote the passage from the Bible that reads “The poor will always be with you” and interpret that to mean that whether we work hard to help poor or not, it won’t matter. I don’t think that was the intent of that verse. I take it to mean that it means the poor will always be the responsibility of those who aren’t, and it’s up to us to do something about it.

From what I’m witnessing so far, Pope Francis has a similar sentiment.

Dave Kitchell is a columnist for the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at ptnews@pharostribune.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • THEIR VIEW: Lawmakers fail to act on the issue After several years of fretting over Indiana's ongoing methamphetamine problem, the Indiana General Assembly continues to struggle for a solution. The issue seems to come up every session, given that Indiana leader the nation in meth lab seizures. Bu

    April 17, 2014

  • WILLIAMS: Feelings of the flowers I took one of those fun tests on Facebook to see what kind of flower I am and lo and behold, it said I was an orchid! That is so wrong because I have always thought I was the exact opposite of an orchid. I'd characterize myself as a daisy. You know,

    April 17, 2014

  • HAMILTON: Government as innovator? You bet! Five years ago, the federal government spent $169 billion to fund basic research and development. This fiscal year, it's down to $134 billion. People who believe in public belt-tightening applaud drops like that. I understand why: there are many reas

    April 17, 2014

  • PARKER: It's time to take a joke, America In selecting Stephen Colbert to replace David Letterman as host of the "Late Show," CBS has waged war on America's Heartland -- or so proclaims that Palm Beach font of heartland mirth, Rush Limbaugh. Don't you believe it, Heartlanders. But wait, ther

    April 16, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Constitutional convention won't work today There seems to be a growing idea that we need a Constitutional convention. That, of course, is the other way to change the Constitution. Amendments have been used 27 times to make changes, ranging from limiting the president's term of office to the d

    April 16, 2014

  • KITCHELL: Forum about adding answers, subtracting questions A week from tonight, Logansport residents and those outside Logansport who purchase electricity from the Logansport Municipal Utilities will have a chance to find out some things for themselves. A free forum at McHale Performing Arts Center will feat

    April 16, 2014

  • PUBLIC FORUM: The people are losing control of its government The people are losing control of government President Obama and progressive Democrats and Republicans are changing the landscape of our country by bypassing our Constitution and what our forefathers fought and gave their lives for. Their philosophy c

    April 16, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Health care fraud can't go unchecked National health care spending tops $2.7 trillion annually. That leaves a lot of room, and temptation, for abuse of a bureaucracy that administers medical services. Medicare and Medicaid scams may cost taxpayers more than $98 billion each year. Health

    April 15, 2014

  • MARCUS: Truth is often unwelcome Jim Feelwright greeted me warmly as I entered the room: “Well, here he is, Mr. Negative.” Since it was a friendly meeting, I borrowed a famous line from the movies: “You can’t handle the truth.” “You,” he said, “just don’t want to see what’s really h

    April 15, 2014

  • VILLAGE IDIOT: Signs of spring finally upon us Today I saw my first crocus popping up after the long winter. It was in a picture a friend posted on Facebook. Suddenly, it seemed everyone was posting pictures of buds on trees, robins on the lawn, green shoots coming up in the garden. It was almost

    April 15, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should e-cigarette marketing be regulated like tobacco?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.