Pope Francis’ changes: too little, too late?

pope francis

Pope Francis has brought a refreshing wave of progress to the Catholic church | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

I was first exposed to the concept of global warming in the seventh grade, when one of my middle school teachers showed the class Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth.

You could see the timid tears escaping the eyes  of 13-year-old students before they were rapidly wiped away by the sleeves of their over-sized sweaters. Despite the 2006 documentary’s inaccuracies, I thought environmentalism was about to become the new hot topic.

So far this year, 176 environmental bills were introduced, only one of which was signed into law by President Obama. My inner seventh grader was shocked to hear it.

During his visit to the U.S. last week, Pope Francis made sure to tell Congress his thoughts on climate change.

Why do we need the head of the Catholic Church to tell us what are obviously correct political actions?


Last Tuesday, in his visit to victims of sexual abuse by the clergy, Pope Francis addressed another issue typically avoided in politics — and lately by the church. He grieved for the children and their families in an emotional speech in Philadelphia.

“I am profoundly sorry that your innocence was violated by those who you trusted,” Pope Francis said.

A nice act, but a little late.

In 2009, Italian archbishop Silvano Maria Tomasi said that “in the last 50 years somewhere between 1.5% and 5% of the Catholic clergy has been involved in sexual abuse cases.”

But it was not until six years later that a true apology was made by the Catholic Church.

On Tuesday, he addressed income inequality, saying “The excluded are still waiting.”

The list goes on and on.

I do not intend to question the validity or importance of these claims and suggestions, rather question whom we should accept as our contemporary leaders.

Should we wait for a religious figure to speak up against world problems, or should we elect better politicians who will do something about them?

If our government needs a Pope’s approval to take action, we are in bad shape. We have more than a few dysfunctional congressmen we need to worry about.

Opinion Columnist Luiza Braga is a print journalism senior and may be reached at [email protected]

Leave a Comment