This morning I was reflecting with a friend that Pope Francis I, from his first greeting after being presented to the crowds, has deliberately chosen actions that speak louder than any words he might have also spoken. He has not given many speeches;
mostly unusual greetings ("Good Evening"; "go home and have a nice lunch") - but his actions speak much louder than his words ever will. Leaving his bodyguards to greet the people; taking the bullet-proof protection off the Pope-mobile; refusing to use
the Mercedes and driver assigned to him; refusing to move into the Papal Apartments; washing the feet of young offenders on Holy Thursday, including those of two young women. I know of Catholic Dioceses where women's feet are still not allowed to be washed.
All of these, plus taking a name that has never been used for a Pope before, as well as a name associated with poverty, nature, animals and deep mysticism.
So far his message through action speaks loudly, shouts, in fact, that the old order is overthrown,
and he has done this respectfully, even quietly. In this age of too many and overwhelming words, his actions open up a small hope that a light still shines in the heart of the smeared Institution. Dare we hope?