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Ten years ago, someone warned the world that if something definite was not done, the sea would be a cemetery for migrants. He also sounded the alarm that the Amazon should not be pillaged, and entrusted us to be "guardians of creation."

He also asked the Church to "take the first step" in the world and recommended that it should not be static in its self-referentiality. On the contrary, he invited her to practice the "apostolate of the ear," of listening, and to be a "a Church which is poor and for the poor."

This same person declared that the only way to reverse things would be with the Joy of the Gospel and Human Fraternity... That someone, who said all this from his Petrine ministry, invested with the authority of the one who serves, is Pope Francis.


The Holy Father recently announced that he would not resign because the office is forever and that it never crossed his mind to do so. And after taking a breather, he seems very determined to continue steering the Barque of Peter.

That is why, after 10 years, he is sitting in a wheelchair due to a knee ailment, but even so, he continues to visit countries, receive guests, sign new decrees to reform the Vatican — including the much-needed financial clean-up — while bidding farewell to his opponents who are retiring on account of their age.

And since "you govern with your head, not with your knee," as he has said, he continues to appoint more women to assist him, he catechizes on Wednesdays, tweets every day, while at the same time granting interviews to journalists with very large audiences and readership, appealing to everyone, especially to young people, with a call that they understand so well, "make noise."

It has been 10 years in which humanity — including the Church — has been surprised by a papacy that was very evangelical, clearer, better dressed and more Franciscan. The faithful felt engaged from the very first moment, since on that fascinating night of the announcement, he committed them to pray for their shepherd, to lead a simpler life and to live joyfully, with the certainty that "the Lord never tires of forgiving," even though we do get tired of asking for forgiveness or forget to show mercy towards our neighbor.

From surprise, the world turned to admiration. Those other well-spoken phrases, that priests should live "with the odor of the sheep" or that the Church should be "a field hospital," once again gave hope to those who saw everything cloudy, while the steadfast ones agreed with a Like and the ones who were distant raised an eyebrow...

Then it would be the time to listen. Would he be the "progressive pope" or the "green pope"? Or perhaps he was the "light pope" who would lower the bar on Church organization and sexual morality?


He was listened to carefully — and the world still listens to him — to understand that the simplistic monikers with which Francis was labeled were neither one nor the other. On the contrary, in this decade, he has shown a deep interest in having the Church understand and respond with urgency to the modern problems of humankind.

It was he, rather, who in this decade "made noise" with his writings, which some have not yet read. There are his great documents, among others, the encyclicals Lumen Fidei, Laudato si', Fratelli tutti; his exhortations Christus vivit, Querida Amazonia, Amoris Laetitiae, Evangelii gaudium, Gaudate et exsultate; and Praedicate Evangelium, the Apostolic Constitution that reformed the Vatican curia. His apostolic letters on the protection of minors, on St. Joseph, on the meaning and importance of the Nativity scene, and the one that integrates the offer of life as a new path towards the cause of canonization, are poignant.

There were also the writings that speak of divine mercy, or that which shortens and facilitates the process of marriage annulment, as well as the recent Desiderio Desideravi, on the liturgical formation of the People of God. In addition to these, he published very appropriate guidelines for instituting the ministry of catechist and granting the ministries of lector and acolyte to women.

For 10 years he has been asking Catholics to be more merciful than righteous and more fraternal than indifferent, even towards those who do not share the same beliefs, even towards those who persecute them.

Today, the Church also celebrates and reflects with the world events created by Pope Bergoglio, such as the Sunday of the Word of God, the World Day of the Poor, the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, as well as the Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.

The world followed expectantly, and the People of God collaborated, with the synods of bishops on theFamily, the New Evangelization, the Amazon and Youth and Vocational Discernment. At this moment, everything is being prepared with prudence and expectation to celebrate the Synod on Synodality, to be held in 2023 and 2024 in Rome.

In this decade, all the messages delivered during his 40 trips abroad, where he brought the Church closer to hundreds of government leaders in 59 countries, came out of the pope's briefcase.

Meanwhile, he insists on a single message, addressed to every Christian: that we stop "watching from the balcony" and "go out" to evangelize, to "wear out the sole of their shoes." We can also wear out our loafers, our sandals, our flip-flops. It doesn't matter, it is all the same... We all have the same task.

This blog first appeared as a column in the March 2023 edition of La Voz Católica.

Comments from readers

Gustavo - 03/23/2023 01:22 PM
Pope Bergoglio has caused controversy in the Church with some of his actions and statements. According to a 2018 Pew Research Center survey, 37% of U.S. Catholics say they have questioned whether they would remain in the Church because of his handling of sexual abuse scandals.[1] Catholics have accused him of deviating from traditional Catholic doctrine on issues such as interreligious dialogue, liturgy, and marriage. For example, he signed a joint document with a Muslim leader in 2019 that stated that "the pluralism and diversity of religions...are willed by God."[2] He also allowed bishops in certain regions to decide whether divorced and remarried Catholics can receive communion.[3] He has also issued encyclicals that call for ecological conversion[4] and social justice[5], which are political rather than spiritual. Bergoglio is undermining the unity and identity of the Catholic Church.
Charles J. Howard - 03/21/2023 01:50 PM
Thank you Jose for your article in regards to our Pontiff. Whether or not he intends to leave, the question I would like to ask you is, what are your thoughts on his documents, Amoris Letitae and Traditionis Custodes? I ask you because of the crisis in society with attacks on our family and on the restrictions on the traditional Mass liturgy. Thank you.
Joe A.Iannone - 03/21/2023 09:48 AM
Thanks for this excellent, Faith-full article. Also, for including the links to the multiple documents. Anyone interested in a fuller picture of Pope Francis can easily access them. I certainly will retain your article for this treasure. peace with justice, joe iannone🌻( national flower of Ukraine)
Valli Leone - 03/20/2023 08:55 PM
Thanks for reminding me about what a fantastic Pope we have right now. All of his initiatives, all of his writings, and all of his inspiration moves me to deeper faith, hope and love. For me, he is like Jesus with skin on. His love for the poor, strangers, prisoners, all sinners and the like encourages me to know more, be more and depend more on the grace of God. I am especially glad that Pope Francis plansto be with us for as long as the Lord allows. Blessings and joy! ✝️⚓️💜
Rafael María Calvo Forte - 03/20/2023 03:55 PM
A San Pío V le tocó poner en marcha el Concilio de Trento; de igual manera le ha tocado al Papa Francisco impulsar las reformas del Concilio Ecuménico Vaticano II, arduo trabajo en las prostimerías del siglo XX, que inundado de un espíritu involucionista posteriormente, hoy levanta el profético Pastor, Obispo de Roma.
Paul Wierichs - 03/20/2023 12:52 PM
Beautiful article. You’re right on. God bless Pope Francis.

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