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Students evaluate pope’s first year

By JOANNE FOX, Globe editor
(Email Joanne)

Pope Francis has taken the world by storm in the year since his election on March 13, 2013.

Theologians, news analysts and the general public have reflected in the past several weeks on the one-year anniversary of the election of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina, the 265th successor of Peter.

"The pope does it the way Jesus said: 'Don't just tell people to do something but do it yourself,’” said Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Young people have their own spin on what they like about the Holy Father.

Taylor Fogarty of Sts. Peter and Paul Church in West Bend, liked the idea that Pope Francis is the first Holy Father to come out of Argentina.

“He rides public transportation instead of riding by himself so he can be with people,” the ninth grader said.”He isn’t ‘living’ in the place most of the popes live; instead he lives in a simple place surrounded by people.”

Carolyn Sporrer, director of religious education at Sacred Heart Parish, Manning, was particularly moved by the insights of one of the ninth grade students.

“What Kasey said she liked best about Pope Francis is that he has a more open-minded approach and he is kind,” she said. “He is a more modern priest who rose from an impoverished background and that he is a friend to the poor and he is multilingual.”

Pope Francis also weighed in on his first year in the papacy.

According to Catholic News Service, he told residents of an Argentine slum in Vatican City – where he previously ministered – the thing he disliked about his job as pontiff was the paperwork.

"Paperwork, office work, it's the thing I always struggled with," the pope said on March 9 in response to the question, "What's the thing you like least about your mission as pope?"

The pope's remarks came during a pre-recorded televised video message to the residents of Village 1-11-14 – a Buenos Aires' shantytown inhabited mostly by South American immigrants.

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