The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

March 18, 2013

More compassion needed

Herald-Banner Staff

GREENVILLE — To the editor:

I find it interesting that as the world welcomes a new pope, he is heralded as a modest man who has spent much of his life caring for the poor and downtrodden (which to me is what a Christian leader is meant to do).

My question is, will leaders in this country who have made it their business to prevent our president from succeeding, continue to use the poor and downtrodden as one of their weapons (welfare, medical assistance, Social Security, etc.)? I am almost certain House Speaker John Boehner (a Catholic and Republican) will be impervious to such an idea, although he expressed the opinion that the selection of the Argentinian was a step in the right direction for the church.

But possibly the most telling comment comes from U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) also a practicing Catholic, who posted on his Facebook page (according to the Associated Press): “My family and I offer our prayers for Pope Francis. Like his namesake St. Francis, Pope Francis has lived a life of humility and commitment to the poor. For his spiritual leadership, we are grateful. And for his message of renewal, we will heed his call.”

Does this mean we might see a bit more compassion and a little less vitriol from the right?


Melva Geyer