To the editor:
Two recent major news stories are so captivating that we easily might miss a very significant difference that emerges from seeing them together.
Our nation has shown great interest in the GOP presidential race. For good or ill, people are fascinated by Donald Trump’s boisterous rhetoric.
At the same time, our nation contemplates the impact Pope Francis will have on society’s sense of worth and its vision for a better world. Even I, a Protestant clergy for more than 60 years, am deeply moved by the Pontiff’s ability to see the long-term implications of our world’s mega-challenges. I’m especially awed by his concern for all people, especially the world’s poor and marginalized.
More than the issues themselves, there’s fresh power in the pope’s approach to them. If he pleads for honest recognition of the dangers of global warming, he does so with a gentle urgency that doesn’t demean those who have another viewpoint. If he proposes changing church policy, he does so out of his deep compassion for people. If he asks us to see the face of Christ (as Jesus asked in Matthew 25) in the lives of the world’s underprivileged, he more than talks about it; his whole life reflects a simplicity that identifies with the impoverished.
What an incredible contrast between Trump’s arrogance and Francis’ humility!
Trump is known for his braggadocio, his limitless ego, his facile side-stepping any suggestion he’s wrong. Thus how refreshing to recognize the lifelong humility of Pope Francis, as he seeks to live out Jesus’ promise that the one who would be great must be the servant of all.
William A. McCartney