Diocese of Providence: Pope Francis 'open and welcoming' - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

Diocese of Providence: Pope Francis 'open and welcoming'

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PROVIDENCE -

A year ago Thursday, the world met Pope Francis, a man who has seemingly changed how the world views the Catholic church.

Monsignor Anthony Mancini of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence says he's also taught followers a lot.

"I think he taught us how to be a real pastor," Mancini said. "One of the things about being a real pastor is being able to listen. Not just to preach and to speak but also to listen … I think he wants to be open and welcoming and he wants to be like everyone's smart grandpa."

Pope Francis has dialed back on hot button social issues and instead focused on the poor.

"He has a great heart for the poor," Mancini said. "As does the Lord, as does Jesus and that's what he tries to follow and make the world more aware of."

The year hasn't been all smiles and waves.

Recently, Pope Francis came under fire for comments about the child sex abuse scandal, but Mancini sees the pope also making progress there.

"I think he will meet with the victims and try to be open with them," he said. "The church obviously made a lot of mistakes in that area for a long time. In the last 10 years, the church has tried to do a lot of things to correct that area."

Mancini compares Pope Francis to a wise grandpa, not because he's easy and won't tell his flock when it's gone astray, but because he will do it with love and compassion.

"Like Saint Paul said 'All things to all people.'" Mancini said.

There were no special events to mark the first anniversary locally, but on Twitter Pope Francis asked people to pray for him.


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