Pope Francis prays during his inauguration mass on March 19, 2013 on St Peter's square at the Vatican. The pope waved to the tens of thousands of pilgrims, who carried flags from around the world and shouted 'Long live the pope!'. Credit: AFP/Getty Images
There is no doubt, Pope Francis I is a spiritual leader who deeply cares about those less fortunate and believes that the church should, just as the priests who vow to serve God, be as poor as those who need the greatest help.
But is the new Pope a socialist or proponent of social justice in the vein of liberation theology? TheBlaze's Billy Hallowell interviewed Sam Gregg, research director at the Action Institute, to glean greater insight into Francis’ views on poverty and social justice. After speaking with Gregg, Hallowell noted:
Well, it’s clear from his past and present statements and behaviors that Pope Francis cares deeply about the poor and that he lives a very humble and — by all accounts — modest life (he cooked his own meals, took public transportation and decided not to live in lavish quarters). But how far does this devotion to the poor go? Is Francis concerned with government structure and taxation or will he stick firmly to the faith and encouraging believers to help those in need?
This quest for context and its associated curiosities, of course, is nothing new. Whenever a new pope is elected, the public and media, alike, look incessantly for any and all information that will shed light on the new-found faith leader’s character and a past actions. And considering that the Catholic Church has 1.2 billion members across the globe, Pope Francis’ viewpoints matter, mostly because of the control and influence he will have over believers.
On his Wednesday evening broadcast, Glenn Beck invited prominent rabbis and priests on a special panel to discuss the new pope and where the Vatican may be headed.
"If the pope believes in collective salvation, if he worries about the collective and fails to speak about the individual salvation, individual empowerment, individual responsibility, individual potential, then there is trouble," Beck said. "But if he recognizes the individual, and then leads by example and demonstrates how you change the world, not through a big government but you change the world by being more kind, more gentle, more humble -- we will see one of the best popes, I believe, in the Catholic church's history."
"And we might just see a man that is not on our side, but on God's side," he concluded.
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Watch Beck's expert panel dig deeper into the pope's ideology:
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