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This pope is dope

OK, srsly. When is Pope Francis going to get his celebrity-status foreshortened nickname? A false intimacy with the Catholic Church’s quiet storm feels a lot more warm and life-affirming to my insides than with, say, RPatz or Brangelina. If only his name lent itself more easily to hyphenated monikers.

Po-Fran (no…that’s no good) is at it again, this time against the one deadly sin that, as Dr. Timothy Keller says, nobody in the western world truly believes they have a problem with.

“The worship of the ancient golden calf has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose. The worldwide crisis affecting finance and the economy lays bare their imbalances and, above all, their lack of real concern for human beings.”

This is from an apostolic exhortation the Vatican recently released on the “new idolatry of money.”

P-Cis (no, still don’t like it) recently addressed the same topic to an audience of about 20,000 in Sardinia. Why did he pick an unspectacular region of Italy for this message, you ask? Could be on account of the 49-year-old miner who slashed his wrists in front of TV cameras last summer, in protest of the closure of the coal mine where he worked. (You heard that right…he was committing suicide so he could continue working in a coal mine.)

Like always, His Holiness (I give up) points the finger inward, not outward. As the Guardian reports, “Pope Francis bolstered his anger with two inward-facing emotions familiar to any Catholic-school graduate: shame and guilt, to make the economy a matter of personal responsibility. This is important. Income inequality is not someone else’s problem.”

Not being a Catholic-school graduate myself, I didn’t read guilt and shame into the Pope’s call to personal responsibility. In fact, what makes Pope Francis so lovable is his insistence on bookending the acknowledgment of sin with the acknowledgment of grace, even to the point of characterizing himself primarily as “a sinner whom the Lord has looked upon” (as told to America magazine).

This is why I want a nickname for him, OK? Something cute and hashtaggable, that will help me relay his gentle yet convicting insights throughout the Interwebs with all the warm fuzzies they originally contained. And really, what else but warm fuzzies can cure chronic greed?

Flickr photo (cc) by Catholic Church (England And Wales)

Kona