US Catholic Faith in Real Life

A papal year in review: Ten highlights from 2013

By Kira Dault | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
blog Culture

Though Pope Francis has only been the pope for less than a year, he’s made news more than a few times. Here are 10 pontifical highlights from 2013.

1. Pope Francis, shortly after being elected, took the bus with the other cardinals, and then circled back to the hotel where he had been staying to pay the bill. 

2. He got a new (well, old) and adorable popemobile. The 1984 Renault was a gift from Father Renzo Zocca, and runs on biofuel.

3. He wore a funny hat, and a clown nose. Pope Francis is unafraid to let his humor show.

4. He has reached out to atheists, on more than one occasion, publicly acknowledging that atheists and agnostics can work together with Christians and Muslims and Jews toward the common good.

5. He washed a young Muslim woman’s feet during the Holy Thursday service last Easter.

6. He became person of the year. Plus, he won Facebook

7. He earned the title Batpope from Stephen Colbert, with speculation that perhaps the pontiff sneaks out at night to help the poor.

8. He gave a long and freewheeling interview on a plane that caused quite a stir.

9. He took on trickle-down economics and unjust economic systems. Again and again, Pope Francis seems to be reaffirming his (and the church’s) commitment to the poor. Rush Limbaugh even called him a Marxist.

10. He earned the title “cold-call pope” when he made phone calls to Catholics around the world, including young people with limited job prospects, to pregnant women, and rape victims. In those phone calls, Pope Francis conveyed a message of hope and caring for those on the other end.

Yes, in 2013, Pope Francis seems to have given a breath of fresh air to the Vatican. Who knows what 2014 will bring!

Image: Paul Haring of Catholic News Service via Religion News Service.