Pope Francis Essay

Pope Francis Effectiveness Essay


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The Catholic church is the largest church in the world .Spread out across all the continents of the world .Catholic faithful internationally number one billion .The church has been in existence for more than three thousand years . The head quarters of the Catholic church is the Vatican City , it’s here that the head of the church ,The Pope is based .The Pope shepherds the flock of one billion people globally presiding over the affairs of the church and the day to day administration and management of the church activities.

The Catholic church is a large organization that is managed via a hybrid system of Governance .This being a federal system of management and a Central system of management .The Church is federal in its administration activities since the local Bishops in charge of Dioceses across the world make decisions that impact on their dioceses and are in charge of the day to day administration and management .The Bishops are appointed by the Pope to preside over Dioceses across all parts of the world . On the other hand, the Church is central in nature because the Catholic body is one globally .The scriptures for a mass in Australia, will be the same for a mass that will be celebrated in other parts of the world.

The Catholic church is headed by the Pope who is referred to as the Holy Father .The pope is elected by the college of cardinals who elect a new pope in the event that a Pope has passed away or is not able to perform his duties . The Church is both a Government and a church at the same time. The Vatican has diplomatic relations with many nations of the world .The Vatican has diplomatic relations with the Republic of Kenya among other nations . The pope’s representative to a country is usually known as the Apostolic Nuncio who is appointed by the Pope to serve as the Vatican diplomat to a country.

In the year 2005 Pope John Paul passed away .This marked the end of a long Papacy for the Catholic Church. Pope John Paul contributed in many ways to the social and democratic gains achieved in Countries which formed part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics .Upon his death , the college of cardinals was assembled which elected Cardinal Joseph Rat zinger as his successor . Cardinal Rat zinger went on to select the name Pope Benedict as per the traditions of the church. Benedict served as Pope until he resigned on health grounds. The College of Cardinals then elected Cardinal Jorge bergogolio as the next pope.

Cardinal Jorge bergogolio then went on to select the name Pope Francis as per the traditions of the church. Pope Francis is an Argentine and was the Bishop of Bueno aires.


Pope Francis was born on the 17th day of December in the year 1936 in Bueno aires Argentina. In his youth he was a chemical technician and a bouncer before he joined the seminary and started his journey towards serving the Lord. He was elected a cardinal in 2001 by Pope John Paul the second. Pope Francis choose the name Francis in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi .Francis was the first Jesuit Pope .In the time that he has been Pope. Pope Francis has been observed to be a humble leader , who is concerned about the well fare of the poor , he has advocated for dialogue as a way of building bridges between people of various cultures and faiths . He has chosen to approach the papacy in a simpler way, opting to reside at the Domus sanctae Marthae guest house as opposed to living in the Papal apartments used by his predecessors. He has also opted for simpler vestments .For example has retained the same cross that he wore as the Bishop of bueno aires , he has a silver piscatory ring as opposed to gold and has also refused the papal mozetta cape upon election .

Pope Francis is the eldest of five children .His parents fled Italy to escape the fascist regime of Mussolini. Pope Francis studied at the archdiocesan seminary and after three years entered the Society of Jesus. He was named as the Bishop of bueno aires in 1992 and ordained in the same year. Under his leadership , he increased the presence of the church in the slums .As a cardinal he was appointed to five positions in the Roman curia : congregation for divine worship ,discipline of the sacraments ,congregation for the clergy ,congregation for the institutes of sacred life ,societies of apostolic life .

Leadership Characteristics

Pope Francis is known to be a humble leader. He freely interacts with people from all classes; he shakes the hands of the faithful when an opportunity is afforded to him. He has also reached out to people of other religions .In this case Islam, Jewish .He has gone out of his way to build bridges with leaders from other religions.

He has also started reforming the church. He has engaged every section of the church to make it a more inclusive organization. As a leader he is also known for being patient .He does understand that change may take time to effect.

The Popes leadership style has been more of engaging with the faithful via going actively into the field as opposed to sitting behind the desk at the offices , he wants a church that goes out to meet the people .In this case he made a decision to remain at the guest house as opposed to moving into the papal apartments .This ensures that he lives with in a community .

He has also listened to diverse voices within the church .Taking into account the various views of the members of the church. The pope has also led by example .During his time in Argentina, he went into the slums to interact with parishioners.

Leadership Approach

The path goal approach is where the leader clears the way for his followers. It’s more of situational leadership. In this approach the leader tells his people where he wants them to go, he then proceeds to remove the roadblocks that are on the path then later rewards them as they move along.

The Pope has made it clear that the church has to adopt some reforms, he has given clear directions on which way the reforms will go. In this case he has shunned the luxuries accorded to him and opted to live a simpler life .This resonates with his message of a poor church. The pope has commented on matters of sexuality .In this case he posed a question about gay people “Who am I to judge?” This sent panic among the faithful .The conservatives sought to explain that the message of the church was not being changed, its only the tone and the emphasis that was being changed.

In pushing the church forward, Pope Francis has had to use his persuasion skills .Urging people to accept the changes that are being effected in the church .However change does not mean that the church is changing its doctrine.

The Catholic Church under the leadership of Pope Francis is making reforms that are needed and are key in enabling the church keep up with the challenges of modern times .Leadership by example has been one of the key strengths of the Pontiff, leading by his actions as opposed to speeches.

Pope Francis has provided vibrant leadership for the one billion Roman Catholic faithful; his style of leadership is unique and offers a new way of approaching contemporary Christian issues for the faithful.

Work Cited

1) Minda Zetlin (2015) Why Pope Francis is so effective : 8 lessons for every leader


2) Fr Jerome Secillano (2015) Pope Francis is reforming the church


3) Robert House (1971) Summary of path goal theory: Abstract


4) Joshua J Mc elwee (2015) Vatican: cardinals meeting next week to focus on crucial reform


5) David Gibson (2015) Pope Francis faces a big week in his effort to reform the Vatican