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A Lone Voice in the Wilderness

Kelvene Requiroso

Posted on May 1, 2018 20:09

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In an increasingly polarized world veering towards populism and extremism, a lone prophetic voice, a social conscience, in the wilderness.

The world gets crazier by the day. Conservatism is synonymous with opposition to anything progress stands for and an ally of populists,while liberalism is an intellectual elitism pushing for ideas and policies that shut away conservatives.

We have a highly polarized world running in extremes. There are those who advance their agenda whether political or economic by all means possible including using religion. Some enterprising businesses and political organizations exploit the human vulnerability for social connection by stealing private data from social media accounts.

The extreme right uses faith to advance their conservative agenda. Their agenda could be construed anything against universal healthcare, environmental protection, fact-based legislation, upholding human rights, responsible gun ownership, and so on.

On the other end of the pole stands the extreme left insensitive to the feelings and inclinations of the conservative right, but too sensitive for their own pursuit of political correctness.

Then there’s Jorge Mario Bergoglio, also known as Pope Francis, a lone voice of reason and faith in an irrational and faithless world. With calm and confidence, he addressed sensitive social issues. He called out social injustices, poverty, human rights violations, the plight of the Rohingya people, and climate change. He pleaded Christians around the world to exercise their faith with a conscience. He also opened the door for atheists and extended his hands to the weak and the vulnerable in society.

Also, he received disrespect from some world leaders including being called ‘son of a whore’ by the President of the Philippines. Conservative groups within and outside the Church dismissed him a dictator and a liberal fascist. The liberals found him wanting for not doing enough to advance progressive agenda including changing some key tenets of the Church and punishing clerics guilty of sexual offenses.

The Catholic leader has become more isolated with the rise of populism from both sides of the Atlantic and from around the world.

I am not Catholic, although I have much respect for the Christian tradition, but how the Pope positions himself amidst all this draws me closer to what he believes and stands for.

Pope Francis has kept the faith under attack from different sides – from the side of irrationality where faith has become a wedge that divides and from the side of faithlessness that undermines religion a scam and a downside in human history.     

Faith is a shelter for the vulnerable and weak and a force for good, but it could also be misappropriated turning it into a wall that divides and a weapon for self-interest and evil pursuit. By being faithful to his prophetic vocation the Pope has maintained the former.

Despite all the scandals beleaguering the world community, I have not lost my faith in humanity. There remains a lone voice in the wilderness of global populism, a voice reminding us to pursue ideas and actions for the common good.

Kelvene Requiroso

Posted on May 1, 2018 20:09

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Source: The Guardian
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