“Pope Francis is popular but not a populist,” prominent Argentinean theologian says

There has been a flurry of articles in the last few days all around the theme of the 4th anniversary of the election of Pope Francis.  Many of them all run along the same lines but I found this one particularly good because the interviewee has known him for a long time and is from the same cultural background as Francis.  I think this gives him a much more balanced perspective….reyanna

By Gerald O’Connell                        March 13, 2017                         America Magazine on-line

“Pope Francis is popular, but he is not a populist,” Father Carlos Galli, dean of the faculty of theology at the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina in Buenos Aires, says in an interview with America on the fourth anniversary of the election of Francis as pope.

He says:

It’s necessary to distinguish popular from populist. Francis is popular but not a populist. He is popular because he understands the church, together with the Second Vatican Council, as the pilgrim People of God. He loves the People of God and the peoples of the world. He is popular because of his way of being warm and close to people. In him, we see the affective culture and gestures of the Latin American peoples. When at the end of his first Mass after being elected pope, in the parish of Santa Ana in the Vatican, he came out to greet the people, he was just doing what most priests in Latin America do after Mass. Francis is popular because he speaks in a simple, straightforward way, and people say, “I understand this pope.”

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