It is curious to me that though I am not of the Roman Catholic faith I feel inspired by Pope Francis’s visit.

The pope’s presence in our country, and the enthusiasm with which he has been greeted has encouraged me to consider the moral authority of positions that he has espoused.

I am not grounded in any one organized religion. So perhaps it is because of this lack of spiritual foundation that I listen carefully to a representative with the gravitas of leadership, respect and love of millions of individuals.

Now given over to introspection, I have concluded that Pope Francis’s focus has been upon some important subjects. His message that humility is a virtue was among those that have the most personal meaning. I have the right of expression and persuasion of my beliefs, but not the right of imposition, even if I am in a position to do so.

Another is that there is a commitment to the poor. Compassion supersedes an assumed moral supremacy. Basic human needs should be met before the cause of those needs are addressed.

I make the observation that Paul LePage, our governor, is a member of the Roman Catholic Church and that I am not. And I question why is it that Pope Francis’s words have spiritual meaning for me, a non-believer, yet they seem to have fallen upon LePage’s deaf ears.

Peter Froehlich


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