HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Religious or not, many people believe Pope Francis has set himself apart from most popes in this with his strong political dialogue and social media presence . Most students and faculty on campus at the University of St. Thomas feel this man speaks to them.
“I think he is a different type of pope and his exposure the message is attractive to a lot of people right now,” said Marquis Gatewood, a faculty member at the University of St. Thomas.
Gatewood is a member of the Protestant church and described Pop Francis as a “different kind of pope,” that many young adults like himself feel is shedding a positive light on the Christian faith.
“As a protestant I don’t necessarily follow the pope as much, but I think with this pope a lot of people, whether they are catholic or non-Catholic, are being exposed to his faith,” said Gatewood.
Pope Francis has gained a large following not only in his teachings on faith, but also in his political stances. “I think that he’s doing a good job emphasizing social justice.”
“I believe that he is the ‘people’s pope’ and that he relates to people more than other popes have in the past,” said Megan Murphy, a Catholic student at St. Thomas.
But others disagree with some of Pope Francis’ political stances.
“I think he’s trying to appeal to too many people,” said Austin Falcon, a Catholic student. “it’s just from the way I was raised and the way I came up in the Catholic religion it’s not what we agree with.”
Specifically speaking, Falcon said he disagreed with Pope Francis on his immigration policies and current refugee crisis position.
“I think the government’s main job is to protect the citizens of which they govern,” said Falcon. “So I think you can’t do that by allowing all of these people in like Pope Francis is suggesting.”
But even Falcon said he likes Pope Francis as a spiritual leader.
“He is bringing more followers that’s always a good thing.”
And although some disagree with his political presence, most people admit they are excited about his arrival in the United States.
“I really think that he is so centered around love and the Catholic church is so much about love and at least for me I’m very excited,” said Brenna Skea, also a Catholic student at St. Thomas.