Hello Rosary Lovers! In this post, I want to speak about the Pope, Francis, the current reigning Pontiff (2013 -).

We will look briefly at some of the unique ways he has led the Church forward to her heavenly home.

‘Mother Earth’

The thing Pope Francis will probably be most remembered for is his amazing Encyclical ‘Laudato Si‘.

This outstanding writing helped to propel the Western world into a much greater concern for environmental issues and care for planet earth.

The Catholic Church is 1.3 billion people, about 1/6 th of the world’s population. And so to have the Head of the Catholic Church take this approach rather forcefully in this Encyclical meant that 1/6th of the world in theory became a good deal more environmentally friendly almost instantly.

The Pope uses St Francis of Assisi as a great example of a saint who loved creation. St Francis would preach to the animals, for instance, and called the Sun ‘Sir Brother Sun’, a term of real respect.

In the Encyclical, Pope Francis famously refers to our planet as ‘Mother Earth’, a phrase often used in paganism. 

The Pope believed Catholics can incorporate such a phrase into their worldview, to increase our respect for creation as a kind of Mother of us all. 

This has a sort of affinity with the ancient Celts, and ancient mythologies which often exalt the glory of the world, such as the trees and the sea.

Pope Francis urges the peoples of the world to get serious about caring for our Common Home, and that if we don’t, we could be facing awful calamities very soon.

His Encyclical has been praised by many, even by those outside of the Catholic Church.

God’s Mercy

If there is any centrepiece of Pope Francis’ Papacy, it is his emphasis on divine mercy. He seems to have been influenced here, at least in part, by St Faustina and the Divine Mercy devotions she presented to the Church.

The Pope seems to be a great fan of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and introduced the recitation of it as a way to gain a plenary indulgence during the recent COVID pandemic. This was a new step forward for the Chaplet.

Incidentally, the Pope recites the entire Rosary daily, all 15 mysteries. So he has a serious devotion to Mary, as well as to Divine mercy. In this, he incorporates within himself two of the most popular devotions in the Church.

The Pope instituted the Year of Divine Mercy in 2015-16. He wanted to help the entire Catholic Church to regain a strong focus on the absolutely fundamental nature of God’s Mercy in our lives and in the gospel.

We are sinners and mess up constantly. We are a broken human family. But instead of beginning with condemnation and how we are all worthy of hell (which is true), the Pope wants us to begin with the fact that God loves us and wants to forgive us, that he wants to help us be better people.

It’s to do with emphasis and what order we put things. We don’t start with condemnation and judgment, but with God’s love for us and his mercy in the death of Jesus for us all.

If we start here, we will much better understand God, and be more merciful with ourselves and each other.

The Amazon and Inculturation

The Pope has written another Encyclical called QUERIDA AMAZONIA. It’s a writing about the Amazon.

In this writing, the Pope urges us to focus especially on the Amazon, the land and its people, who are facing destruction and devastation.

The Pope also suggests much in the way of Inculturation. That is, he wants to see a Catholic Church which contains in fullness the glories of human cultures.

The Catholic Church must not be culturally monolithic, everyone wearing the same thing, everyone saying the same thing, everyone praying the same, and so on.

The Catholic Church is for the world, for all nations. All the nations of the world, their cultures and to some extent even their religious traditions need to be preserved and incorporated into the Catholic Church.

Pope Francis envisions a Church where in the Amazon, they practice a form of Catholicism which looks Amazonian. Where in the Arab nations, they practice a form of Catholicism which looks Arabic. And so on.

The cultures of the world are good and part of the beautiful diversity of humanity. This includes the religions of the world, because religion and culture cannot be separated.

Obviously the Pope doesn’t want the Church to incorporate those elements of cultures and religious traditions that are at serious odds with to the Catholic faith. However, the Pope is clearly keen to see how far we can push this.

Pope Francis should rightly be remembered as a crucial turning point here, carrying on the legacy of St Pope John Paul II, who also had this vision for the Church and the world.


The Pope in his amazing book ‘Let us Dream’ has written about how Clericalism is a heresy. Clericalism has often been found in the Catholic Church, and is the attitude that the Hierarchy do everything, and the laity do very little.

The Pope thinks this is a desperately unhealthy approach to the Catholic faith. He is very keen to push the laity as far as possible in its role in the Church. Perhaps we have completely underestimated how much the laity can do within the Church.

How much can the laity really engage in and participate in within the Church, without the line between clerics and laity being confused? Pope Francis is eager to help us ask this.


Ultimately, the Pope wants a more synodal Church, a Catholic Church which wants to ask the views of all her members.

The Pope does not want a Church where the Hierarchy do everything, say everything, and the laity are just ‘yes father’ kinds of people.

Pope Francis believes the laity have a tremendous role to play in the Church’s future, and that the laity should be consulted for their viewpoints on all sorts of matters.

The Holy Spirit dwells in the entire Church, not just in the Hierarchy.

Although the Pope doesn’t want a Democratic Church, he does want a Church where the opinions of each of her members is respected and thought about by the Hierarchy.

On this note, the Pope wants to take a more back-seat role and let the Bishops of the world and the laity work things out for themselves in synods.

This approach is very new, really, and it will be interesting to see how far it goes within the Catholic Church.

Ultimately, the Pope is still the Head of the Church, but presumably the way he exercises this Headship needs to evolve with the 3rd millennium.

Much of the Church lives in a democratic world. Pope Francis seems to believe the Church would do well to incorporate some democracy into the way she functions.

The Death Penalty

The Pope has steered the Church further in its understanding of the Death Penalty. The Pope does not believe there are any reasons anymore in a civilised world for the death penalty.

Formerly, the Church had held that the Death Penalty should only be used in very rare circumstances, if such circumstances even exist. The Pope has taken this one step further.

From my understanding, I think the Pope is trying to say the following. Human beings are made in God’s image, and no matter how terrible the things they have done, all humans need God’s mercy. The Death Penalty robs someone of this mercy. That’s my view, but I suspect it is what the Pope has in mind (or something similar).


Pope Francis is also an outspoken critic of full-blown Capitalism. His views are much closer to a lot of Socialist ideals.

For instance, he is in favour of a wage for stay-at-home parents, paid by the government.

He also supported the lockdowns of many countries during the COVID pandemic, claiming that those countries that didn’t lockdown their citizens were prizing money and economy over the lives of people. The Pope believed this attitude was seriously flawed and wrong.

Part of why the Pope is so anti full-blown Capitalism is because he has seen what it has done to the Amazon. It wrecks the natural world for the sake of money. This, in the Pope’s mind, is evil.

The Pope also has a very high opinion of women, and often appoints more women in important positions than men.

Open the Boarders!

The Pope was highly influential throughout Europe in pushing us to open the boarders to people fleeing their native countries.

Whether they were running away from war or from danger, the Pope believed it was wrong for us to keep our boarders shut to these people in desperate need.

This again fits with his approach to mercy first and a love for the common people that is ideally often seen in Socialism.


Recently the Pope has spoken out not just against the war between Russia and Ukraine, but against ALL WAR. 

The Pope believes we must move beyond war and that in this day and age, we can’t anymore entertain the notion of a just war, that is, a war that is fought on righteous grounds.

It seems the Pope no longer believes there can be any grounds for just war, and that we should seek now to entirely move beyond war as even a possible option.

Everyone loses in war. War is wrong.


Francis is undoubtedly a fascinating Pope. He’s been tremendously influential in numerous ways within the Catholic Church and worldwide since he was elected in 2013.

Whilst holding tenaciously to traditional Catholic doctrines like the Church’s absolute anti-abortion stance, he is an extraordinarily open-minded Pontiff who tries to think in new ways.

He believes that for the Church and the world to coexist, we need new ways of speaking to each other. 

Just because two groups hold to opposing viewpoints about something does not mean that the best of each viewpoint cannot be gleaned to discover a fresh, third perspective on any given matter. The Pope describes this in his book ‘Let Us Dream’.

Francis is a bridge-builder. He wants us all to love each other as brothers and sisters, regardless of our differences.

In my opinion, Pope Francis will be remembered as a significant turning-point in the Catholic Church’s history. He is clearly carrying on what St Pope John Paul II began, and is taking the Church further in these directions than any other Pope has before.

The future alone can tell what the Catholic Church will look like in many years to come, but Pope Francis will probably be recalled as one of the key figures to have brought the Church to wherever she will be in a few hundred years. 

There has now been a Francis 1st; there will likely be a Francis 2nd, 3rd, and so on.

6 Replies to “The Pope, Francis, and his Legacy”

  1. In this blog, the grace and love of God through the works of Pope Francis is beautifully shared. No doubt. The Pope Francis is truly a shepherd. He is leading the people back to God with the help of Mother Mary. He always speak about the Divine Mercy of God and the importance of praying the holy rosary. I remember attending the opening of Divine Mercy door in our church during the year of Divine Mercy. Indeed it was such a strong message about the fundamental nature of God’s Mercy in our daily lives. 

  2. Hi, Matthew. I had a good time reading.

    Pope Francis has only been the Bishop of Rome for about two years and a half. He has been extraordinarily successful in reigniting the hopes and excitement of reform-minded and self-described Vatican II Catholics in such a short period of time. He definitely has brought a breath of fresh air to the room. Millions of Catholics have found fresh hope because of him. This is because his words and actions continue to imply that the church’s institutions and disciplines can undergo healthy reform and development.

    1. Hello! I’m glad you had a good time reading the post.

      I think Pope Francis came into office in 2013, if I’m not mistaken…??

      Either way, yes, he has done wonders for the Church. He’s a revolutionary Pope.

      The Church must always be reformed, but in union with the Papacy, whether he leads it, or endorses it.

      Thank you for your comment!

  3. Thank you so much for this amazing blog post,  Your website wonderfully shares God’s mercy and love through the efforts of Pope Francis. Without a question. Pope Francis is a true shepherd. With the assistance of Mother Mary, Jesus is guiding the people back to God. Because of him, millions of Catholics have discovered new hope. This is due to the fact that his words and deeds continue to convey that the church’s disciplines are capable of healthy change and development. 

    1. Many thanks for your feedback and your comments. Those comments are a valuable addition to this post.

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