Dear Pope Francis,
I hope this blog post finds you well. My name is Kevin. You don’t know me – yet – but I’ve been following you in the media the last few months and, I must say, I’m intrigued.
You seem to have an entirely unique handle on what it means to be Pope. Take these answers you gave to schoolchildren when they asked if you wanted to be Pope and why you don’t live in the Papal Apartments. I found that refreshing. Then you seemed to open the doors of Heaven just a crack to welcome all, even atheists (though your minders then, respectfully, said you might have been misinterpreted). Most recently your off-the-cuff comments to a group of South American religious set off a tizzy of stories.
In fact, Pope Francis, you’ve seen more media coverage in your first 100 days than most newly-elected Presidents or Prime Ministers.
Despite this, I worry a bit about you, Pope Francis. You seem so earnest in your attempts to stay real and connected with the world outside the Vatican. But even the most casual observer of The Vatican and its machinations will tell you what a daunting task that might be. So far, you’ve managed to eschew many of the trappings of your office, such as the elaborate vestments preferred by your predecessor. This is good. But, as time goes on, I hope an invisible Papal straightjacket doesn’t settle about your shoulders, and begin to tighten. The world so desperately needs a pastoral Pope, Francis, not a patriarch.
Which brings me to why I’m writing this blog to you. It occurs to me that you might need some eyes and ears in the outside world to keep you informed. I’m just a guy, tapping away on a laptop, but I think I might be able to offer up some helpful insights once in awhile to keep you in the loop. Think of me as an outside reality consultant. Just as companies and organizations employ consultants to give them the straight goods on how they are operating, I can offer a little perspective to you. I might also make you aware of things you hadn’t heard about, or provide some additional information you might not have considered.
My credentials? As I said, I’m just a guy with a laptop. Though I did just complete my Masters at the Sophia Center at Holy Names University, where I studied culture an spirituality, so I have a little bit of book-learning on my side. I’m a writer and keen observer of the world. I’ve written a couple of pieces for the National Catholic Reporter, and maintain another blog. In my professional life, I’m a communications consultant, so I know all about keeping up an image and getting messages out.
So, Pope Francis, expect to hear from me on a daily basis from here on out. I’m looking forward to this journey with you, and what we find together.