Pope Francis tames the wolf of Fleet Street

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In the Lives of the Saints I used to read as a child, a lovely illustration held my gaze. It was Francis of Assisi, a wolf at his feet, speaking to a bird. I see it now on the six-month anniversary of Papa Francis, writes Cristina Odone.

- The Catholic Herald

It’s nothing short of miraculous: we can now read the word 'Catholic' in a headline and not see it automatically followed by the words 'paedophile priest scandal.' We can now see 'Pope' and not have to steel ourselves for some furious attack or cruel put-down. How has Papa Francis managed this? It’s been six months of small signals and quiet words – a phone call here, a joke there, a small Renault to take him everywhere. Some papal messages have been gentle hints, others blaring trumpets.

The overall effect has been to restore the Church as an admirable and loveable presence on the world stage. As a result, we Catholics no longer need feel ashamed of what our priests did and how our Church dealt with them. 

More than 800 years ago, St Francis was able with love and humility to tame even the wildest beasts, and speak to even the shyest creatures.

Today, his namesake is doing the same – taming the nastiest and communicating with the most vulnerable. May he go on and on.

Pope Francis comes at a tragic time for Christians around the world. Muslim fanatics have killed more than 60 hostages in a shopping mall in Nairobi. To determine which prisoner to release, and which to shoot, the terrorists asked a simple question: what is the name of the Prophet’s mother? This revealed their target: Christians.

Meanwhile, in Pakistan, two Muslim suicide bombers attacked a church and killed at least 83 people after Mass.

FULL STORY Pope Francis tames the wolf of Fleet Street

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