.Pope Francis is an extraordinary man.
In the few months since Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires became the head of the Roman Catholic Church he has changed the atmospherics of the Vatican more profoundly — and most observers would emphatically say for the better — than anyone since Pope John XXIII more than 50 years ago.
It would be the height of presumption for me as a Jew even to comment on Pope Francis’ overhaul of the Vatican bureaucracy and Catholic theological priorities. But on the human and spiritual levels, in his compassion for the suffering and anguish of others, he has already become a role model to the world.
Listening to her, she seems cut from the same cloth as her now-famous sibling: Humble and unpretentious, and also completely unafraid to speak her mind.
For instance, when stories began to make the rounds about Francis having become a priest only because a young love rejected his marriage proposal, Maria Elena was there to bat it down. She insisted that her brother was only a kid at the time, and the idea of getting married was never serious. More ominously, when critics suggested that her brother had been complicit in Argentina’s military junta, Maria Elena testily pointed out that her family emigrated from Italy because their father was opposed to fascism … the clear suggestion being that Jorge Mario Bergoglio would never betray his father’s memory by cozying up to dictators.Read more……….