September 11, 2011

The humble Pope

Pope Benedict XVI arrives for a welcoming ceremony at Cibeles square in Madrid, on August 18, 2011. Pope Benedict XVI headed to Madrid for a million-strong Catholic youth festival AFP PHOTO / VINCENZO PINTO


There is something about Benedict the XVI that always disarms me. “Thank you very much” that’s the for words with he use to finish his speeches, some of them a prodigy of intellectual richness, originality, and a sharp vision of the nowadays situation of the humanity in the world as is it today and as it could be tomorrow.

This is something that the we were not used by the Popes. They used to say their messages and then finish with a blessing. Benedicto the XVI also blesses (it’s in his name and is his job), but that comes always after that humble thanks giving to the audience for being there, for listening.

“Thank you very much”. He seems to don’t care who is listening, some poor handicapped abandoned by all but some religious order or a group of University teachers and science researchers, or more than a million youngsters like that gathered in August in Madrid. And no matter if the speech is about charity, theology, human rights, sin and forgiveness, the link between truth and love, the need to give to the young people role models that show them with their life values like work, family, and faith.

This said in a moment when it seems that the only role models of the teenagers are  the ones followed by the fashion magazines, flashes, instant exit, model beauties, sex appeal, no moral worries besides have a good time and if is not possible in a natural way, then with drugs and drinks, no respect for authority and no more than for lines to write and read. Or worst, the violent video games, with so realistic images of how you can armed yourself a began to kill virtual people who in some weak mind can lead to a confusion between virtual an actual and finish involved or provoking a tragedy.

You can agree or disagree with the Pope, but nobody can say that he’s not one of the most privileged intellectuals of the past and this Century. In his interventions, his speeches, his writings you can find that kind of culture that is so rare to find because of the  “in crescendo” specialization and division of the knowledges: that kind of  Humanistic way of thinking and speaking. And at the same time two virtues: make himself understandable (probably the long experience of a teacher) and a disarming humility

After the trip to Spain for the World Youth Day and before that the trip to Croatia when was another meet with young people, It’s clear that they find something in the Pope. In both trips crowds of youngsters were not only yelling that they love the pope and singing and shouting slogans, they listened him and prayed with him, kneeling in complete silence.

¿More than a million young people kneeling and praying in silence? Yes. They seem to have found a role model in this Pope, apparently the antithesis of them, an ancient man, that has passed his whole life as a priest, bishop, cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, working with papers studying, but with a portentous mind, who is teaching them how to pray, how can them be close to God, the reasons of their faith, and who is able to say “thank you very much” to a group of handicapped children putting himself in their level after a speech full of knowledge and charity and faith, because he thinks that all of us are equal before God. I Like this way of teaching and leading.

About Olga Brajnović

Journalist. In my fifties. I've worked for 26 years in a newspaper in Spain. I worked for two years as a stringer and correspondent in the US, and went as a special envoy to other places like the Balkans. Sea lover. Avid reader. Classic Music enthusiast.




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