ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Pope Francis: Opening the Doors a Bit More

Pope Francis has been an outspoken critic of a social and economic system based on massive inequality and surprised many by his famous statement on gays, "who am I to judge?" From brokering a thaw in the relationship between the United States and Cuba to urging governments to treat migrants and refugees mercifully and senior Vatican officials to change their attitude, his actions continue to receive wide media coverage. Yet he also faces opposition, and huge challenges remain if the church is to become increasingly just and inclusive.

Whenever humans “fail to care for creation and for our brothers and sisters, the way is opened to destruction”, warned Pope Francis as he took office in March 2013. Describing his own role, he said that he “must open his arms to protect all of God’s people and embrace with tender affection the whole of humanity, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important” and work alongside other people of goodwill so that “the star of hope will shine brightly”.

Certainly the new pope has inspired many, among and beyond the Roman Catholic Church’s 1.2 billion members worldwide, especially through his outspoken criticism of a social and economic system based on massive inequality. From brokering a thaw in the relationship between the United States (US) and Cuba to urging governments to treat migrants and refugees mercifully and senior Vatican officials to change their attitude, his actions continue to receive wide media coverage. Yet he has also faced opposition and huge challenges remain if the church is to become increasingly just and inclusive.

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