The good times keep rolling when it comes to global pop star Pope Francis. Today, Ash Wednesday in the Roman Catholic Church, marks the launch of a fan magazine Il Mio Papa (My Pope) by Mondadori publishing, reports The New York Times. Here you can read about the Italian version of People, only it's focused on only one celebrity.
This kind of development signals the success of Francis' grassroots appeal. His messaging could put a dent in the growing popularity of Eastern religions in the West. For a while spiritual pilgrims like myself were flocking to the various schools of Buddhism in the U.S. Those ranged from Shambhala to Zen. The former has its own rock star Pema Chodron. What I had found was that some in the Buddhist leadership seemed to be as mean-spirited as the nuns we remember from Catholic grade school. Under the guise of enlightment they seemed to bully the confused.
Now, there's a turning back to our childhood roots in Catholicism. We find Francis' memes of compassion and tolerance seductive. A college friend has been trying out Catholic masses celebrated in languages ranging from Spanish to Italian. Although I won't belly up to the altar at a Catholic Church to get ashes today my mind reflects on human myopia. Catholicism frames that as original sin.
When Francis plans to visit the U.S., that will go down in history, just as when the Beatles swung by in the 1960s.