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EDITORIAL: Pope Francis' Brotherly Love

York Dispatch

Conewago Township resident Arlette Figdore, who along with her husband, Phillip, made the pilgrimage to see Pope Francis in Philadelphia this past weekend, offered an astute observation.

"He's always reaching out," she noted.

This is what we think makes his U.S. visit so special and why it has resonated with Americans — Catholics, Christians and beyond — and those here in York who made the trip to Philly to get a glimpse of the pontiff.

Pope Francis' interactive — and humble — approach is a welcome antidote for those who feel marginalized or otherwise disconnected from the church, or from society in general.

Yorkers were among the tens of thousands who made the trek, braved the crowds and found their way to the City of Brotherly Love to partake in the spiritual sustenance that the pontiff is uniquely capable of providing to downtrodden and dignitaries alike.

Every generation feels, at times, like it is wandering further from faith. In these moments of political and social turmoil, heightened by technology, it helps to meditate on our higher possibilities.

Pope Francis' attention to the humanity of every person makes him a role model for all of us, regardless of religious affiliation — or lack thereof.

His message of religious tolerance and the contributions of immigrants to this great nation brings a reminder of human capacity for compassion, acceptance and love.

While the church still has work to do, overall, in reaching out to women, the LGBT community and others who feel underrepresented, Pope Francis' reputation as a humble religious leader inspires hope that these issues could be resolved.

As we return to our everyday lives, let's carry with us Pope Francis' message of tolerance. Let's remember, too, Arlette Figdore's hope that we restore a more human touch to our interactions with one another.

There is a reason Pope Francis' message brings such joy and healing to so many — it's grounded in love and hope. We have a unique opportunity to use this experience to share that message with one another.