Pope Francis is wandering through South America has encountered thousands who wish him well. At a time when Catholicism is declining in Latin America, there apparently is a warm feeling toward the new head of the Catholic Church. On his first return to South America the Pope’s car took a wrong turn and was overwhelmed by people. He leaned down to grasp hands and kiss babies like an old pro politician. But, people understood this was a decent man who is trapped in a large bureaucracy as well as being surrounded by church politicians who regard “power” as the reason to be a Catholic priest.
The warmth and caring feeling of Pope Francis is confronted with a challenge. Can his basic decency, his care and love for all humans penetrate feelings created by priest scandals and reveal there remains a Catholic church which seeks to bring love an peace to all humans? Only time will tell.