On the last day of his six-day tour of Asia, six million people went to see Pope Francis preform an outdoor mass at Manila, Philippines. Despite the rain, a record amount of people went to praise the pope. Francis dedicated his trip to the Philippines to the poor, disregarded victims that have long dealt with injustice. He visited the troubled, such as street children and also travelled to the eastern city of Tacloban to offer prayers for the survivors of the fatal storm, Typhoon Haiyan of 2013, which distressed one of the country’s underprivileged regions.
Despite all the well-doing Pop Francis has done in Asia, New York City couldn’t help but be rendered speechless when the pope did not list the city as a stop of his tour of America. This begs the question – Why is Pope Francis so popular? Becoming Times Person of the Year in 2013, there must be some reason he is such a widespread. In the population of France, 93 percent of Catholics and 81 percent of non-Catholics, respectively, view Francis favorably (Lynch). He has become known for being “The Pope of the People”, for his ability to reach out to everyone with his actions and words. Francis approaches his title in a new perspective, allowing others to see that he is just another human being with big beliefs. For instance, he refused to ride in a bullet-proof Mercedes limousine, and instead rode on a bus with other cardinals’ right after his election, using a Ford Focus around Rome and driving himself around the Vatican in a 1984 Renault (Stoltz). He is also the first Pope to use the word “gay”, rather than “homosexuals” or “those suffering”. He reaches out to those who never felt accepted and welcomes them with open arms, no matter their differences in views.
As for the non-Catholics, their fascination in Pope Francis may be as equal as the fascination the religious have to him. In May of 2013, The Holy Father surprised the world by declaring that all humans, even atheists, are redeemed by Jesus and can be accepted into Heaven (Catholic Online). The Pope also remarked that the church has grown “obsessed” with abortion and gay marriage, and that we must deal with other circumstances. “We have a great pope,” said Father Spadaro in a phone interview office. “There is a big vision, not a big shift. His big vision is to see the church in the middle of the persons who need to be healed. It is in the middle of the world,” (Goodstein).