April 15, 2015

During his term as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis eschewed the extravagant trappings of his office, living in a simple apartment and cooking his own meals. Then he packed his pastoral humility in his suitcase and took it with him to Rome.

There, he has instilled a new sense of human-centeredness in the papacy. He has described himself as a sinner, and his nonjudgmental views on contentious church issues such as sexual orientation and divorce have brought hope to millions of Roman Catholics around the world.

Though I understood he was motivated by his concern for members of his flock in China, I was saddened in December when His Holiness the Pope buckled to political pressure and declined the opportunity to meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama. They have so much in common.

Even so, I love and admire His Holiness the Pope just as much as I admire and love His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Few would dispute that Pope Francis is a special gift from God who has brought a breath of fresh air to the Vatican.

Tutu is an Archbishop emeritus of Cape Town and a Nobel Peace laureate

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