|There was never a completely bad day in Mr Roger's neighborhood.|
|There were just way too many bad days in Pope Benedict's neighborhood.|
Yesterday was the 11th anniversary of the death of Fred Rogers. No one, and I mean no one, had more impact on the formation of my daughter's early view of the world than Fred Rogers. She would sit riveted during his show, a firm believer in Mr Roger's neighborhood, a firm believer in treating all people just like Mr Rogers treated all people. He truly evangelized her into being the person she is today, and I am truly proud of her. I suspect this is true for a lot of her generation, that Mr Rogers had more to do with their outlook than any other early life influence. Whatever one may think about the millennials, one has to admit they have a pretty welcoming concept of neighborhood.
Today marks the 1st anniversary of the resignation of Pope Benedict. He had virtually no impact on my daughter's formation as a human being, except as a lightening rod for how the Roman Catholic Church did not function at all like Mr Roger's neighborhood. He was not one of her evangelizers. His was not a friendly inviting neighborhood and in the US, Catholicism is still not a very friendly neighborhood for a lot of people.
Pope Benedict was a lot of things but he did not have an ounce of the evangelizing impact of Fred Rogers.
Pope Benedict's resignation did finally result in what appears to be the election of Catholicism's version of Fred Rogers. One could say Benedict did lay the groundwork for cleaning up the neighborhood. I sure hope Pope Francis has his share of cardigan sweaters.
|Pope Francis seems to have taken a lesson in evangelization from the same source as Fred Rogers....the teachings of Jesus, not the teachings of Augustine.|