Pope Francis is the best Pope of my lifetime.

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I will provide a link to an article on the latest apostolic letter issued by Pope Francis. In it, he establishes the strongest reaction yet regarding abuse by church officials. I am not Catholic, however I was taught to always hold clergy of any faith in the highest regard. Pope Francis is doing everything he can to repair the image of Catholic clergy, not only to other Catholics, but to those who follow other faiths as well.
I did have a lot of friends who were Catholic. I mostly hung out with them during our summers on Clinton Playground. I knew of priests through them and tangentially from other friends and acquaintances. I do not ever remember actually meeting a priest in person until I became an adult. From my very limited knowledge of priests, I had the greatest possible respect for them, even more so than the rabbis I knew. My Catholic friends respected them so much! I remember sitting outside of Gesu Church. waiting for one of my friends as he went to confession. I remember asking him, "Do you really tell him [the priest] everything you do wrong?" He assured me that he did so, without any fear that his confession would go beyond the confessional. I was so impressed!
While the sexual abuse of young people was mostly perpetrated against young males, I do know, personally, of at least one female who was a victim of sexual abuse by a priest when she was a child. When all of this was revealed many years ago, I was honestly shocked. By then, I knew that priests were human, of course. I knew that they could fall victim to the same fallibilities we all face. I just could not comprehend that so many of them did so many horrible things, and that most were just moved to other duties, rather than being defrocked, and having their cases be adjudicated in court.
Among so many other things, Pope Francis seems determined to modernize the Catholic Church and its message to the world. Pope Francis is returning the Catholic Church to the position of delivering the promises of Jesus of a faith that is tolerant of differing life styles, but intolerant of abuses of power, particularly by church officials in whom we all place our faith and trust.
Here's a link to the article: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/05/world/europe/05popeabuseupdate1pix.htm...

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Pope John 23'rd for my choice

IMHO -- Francis has taken John XXIII's modernization and humanitarianism to a higher level. Without the actions of John XXIII, it is hard to imagine Francis being elected as Pope, or having the platform from which to launch his efforts. Kudos to them both!

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