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Is Pope Francis a better pope than Benedict?

Even though Pope Benedict achieved a lot during his papacy, I believe that Pope Francis could achieve things that would revolutionize the Church forever. Pope Francis could be the next biggest pope ever since John Paul ll. His concern to the poor, his love for human life, and his goal of spreading the faith could very effectively mark the 21st century as the "Renaissance" of Christianity. The pope himself has a lot of popularity with the world; even non-Christians approve of the pope. I believe that Pope Benedict did a great job at reaffirming the teachings of the faith. The Church during his papacy had a relatively decent reputation, and I believe that he upheld his purpose of being the pope. 

Comments

  • Posts: 5
    I definitely believe he's better than his predecessor for many reasons. I think that 5 months ago I've read an article saying that he wishes to put an end to Orthodox and Catholic conflicts that have lasted for quite some time already and reunite them once again. I think that's just great! Though I'd still like to see actions rather than words. Still, I have absolute faith in him.
  • Posts: 21
    I think so too. Benedict was too traditional for the times and wasn't going to be able to lead the church in the direction it needs to go. I think he knew that too, which is why he stepped down instead of continuing on until e eventually died. Francis is more in touch with the modern world and able to make changes which need to happen to keep the church up to date.
  • Pope Francis has the makings of a great pope, he is kind, gentle, courageous and stands for what is right. He has accomplished much in just a few months after he was named as leader of the church but, it is still too early to compare him to John Paul II. He still has a tall order in front of him, with God's help, his regime could be one for the books.
  • I think Francis is a much better communicator than Benedict was.  Benedict just didn't know how to relate to people as well, and didn't seem as friendly.

    In part, I blame it on Benedict's German upbringing.  When he was young, their culture dictated that they remain serious and in control of their emotions at all times.  You'll rarely see a German smile in pictures from those days, both because of the seriousness of the economic and political situation and simply because the culture was that you didn't go around smiling foolishly.  I've seen this in pictures from my grandfather's childhood; only the little kids smiled in photographs.  Past a certain point, everyone looks downright dour.

    To this day, most of the time when my grandfather smiles out of politeness, it looks fake.  I call it a German smile.  It's more like a baring of teeth than what we think of as a smile because not all of the facial muscles are activated.  (When he's genuinely happy about something, he has an American smile.)  I've seen the very same German smile on Benedict in the pictures of him in front of crowds.  He's trying to be polite, but he can't fake happiness. 

    And people pick up on this.  Compare a picture of Benedict smiling to Francis smiling, and you'll see it's Francis who looks delighted.  For all we know they're having much the same internal experience, but Francis comes of as warm and personable.
  • Posts: 56
    It wouldn't feel right to bad mouth Pope Benedict as he has done some good things during his time but I definitely like Pope Francis better because of his simplicity, love towards all of humanity and openness to other religions. Pope Francis is exceedingly kind you could see it in his face. Pope Benedict on the other hand was more political and involved in the papal office which also had its merits. I didn't realize how much I missed a pope like Pope John Paul II until I knew about Pope Francis because they're very alike in terms of thought and deeds. They're quite jet-setting popes that support the youth. 
  • Posts: 56
    It wouldn't feel right to bad mouth Pope Benedict as he has done some good things during his time but I definitely like Pope Francis better because of his simplicity, love towards all of humanity and openness to other religions. Pope Francis is exceedingly kind you could see it in his face. Pope Benedict on the other hand was more political and involved in the papal office which also had its merits. I didn't realize how much I missed a pope like Pope John Paul II until I knew about Pope Francis because they're very alike in terms of thought and deeds. They're quite jet-setting popes that support the youth. 
  • Posts: 10
    I don't mean to judge Pope Benedict but as far as I know and what I've seen, Pope Francis is a very simple and down to earth man. He's reached out to people in need not only through prayers but with actions. He doesn't live a luxurious lifestyle. He extends a hand to people who encountered calamities, just like what happened to the people of Leyte in the Philippines. That one gave me goosebumps, it's like the Lord came and touched all of our hearts. The sincerity is there undoubtedly. And I never heard of Pope Benedict do the same. So I think Pope Francis is way better than him.
  • Posts: 21
    I love his stand on issues regarding the less fortunate in society. This makes him the most liked Pope since John Paul II. The far he has come goes to prove he has the interest of humanity at heart. 
  • Posts: 36
    I think so, in that he is more "in touch" with the world. Not to speak ill of Pope Benedict, but I don't think he was as with the current world trend a pope should be. Pope Francis has so far been a great model for a Church in transition.
  • Maybe it's not a question of being a better Pope just a different one.  Pope Benedict was very set in his ways about keeping the church in it's traditional state.  Where as Pope Francis is about taking the church into the next century.  Because of this I think that Francis has become more popular because he is willing to see that the world has changed and maybe the church should along with it.  I have to admit that this is one of the main reasons I like him, because he isn't afraid to change with the times.
  • For me Pope Francis is my favorite Pope. He is simple and reaches to the poor more often. He has shown a good example in unifying families worldwide. I hope that he will be able to continue doing more for the Catholic Church and also the society.
  • There
    is no comparison really since they are two very different individuals, two very
    different popes with two very distinct ways of handling things and how they go
    about the church’s affairs. One is a very conservative pope while the other a
    contemporary one. This is not very important just so long as the current Pope
    can handle critical issues properly and find solutions to the problems of the
    church. 

  • There
    is no comparison really since they are two very different individuals, two very
    different popes with two very distinct ways of handling things and how they go
    about the church’s affairs. One is a very conservative pope while the other a
    contemporary one. This is not very important just so long as the current Pope
    can handle critical issues properly and find solutions to the problems of the
    church. 

  • I think comparing the two is a hard thing to do, they both have focused on building a better and stronger church. The two holy fathers have emphasized how important it is to build the followers' faith and, to reignite that which is lacking in Christ's church. Pope Francis is at the helm of the church now and is working hard to do what he promised to do as head of the church. So, I believe comparing them is hard, but they I accept that they both have played their active duties as Popes.
  • This pope is definitely idolized more than any other which is very telling! Keep your eyes open and if you're not saved, get saved.

  • I agree with @Zurminister, the two are separate and distinct, and cannot be compared. To me, it's sort of asking someone whether they like their mother better than their father. They have both held the highest office in the Church, and each deserve respect for that reason. I am actually more along the lines of Benedict in some matters, since I'm more conservative, although I do appreciate that Pope Francis reaches out to those in need, particularly those who tend to be looked down upon by many in society. 
  • Definitely, @CatholicChick that is precisely my point and what I wanted to drive at. And that is that both of them are unique in many ways and how things are done but still the same, they work for the betterment of the Church in their terms of office. Whether we like it or not, they are part of the Church and that the decisions they make are in accordance to the law of man and most especially with God.
  • Posts: 129
    I don't think it is fair to compare 2 popes. Naturally there is a discrepancy in terms of accomplishments and to consider that Pope Francis is still in office and can still do more then I guess he has the edge in counting the accomplishments. But in popularity, I'm sure Pope Francis is charismatic like Pope John Paul II because he was given a grand reception when he came to the Philippines in January.
  • I have to agree with @Corzhens - it is not fair to compare the two popes. Each pope was different in their own way. I don't think one is better than the other. Every person has their own personality and set of beliefs. Personally, I really like Pope Francis and think he is doing a wonderful job. I think Pope Benedict did amazing as well.
  • I think that it is just too early to tell if the current pope would be a better one compared to the previous. It is obvious though, that Pope Francis has been really instrumental in making the gospel heard all over the world and using social media is definitely a good and very useful tool in doing that. Living in humility is also making him a darling of the press so, all in all, so far, so good.
  • Posts: 64
    I feel that Pope Benedict acted as an intermediary between Pope John Paul and Francis. The world loved Pope John Paul so dearly, it was almost as if no one could fill his shoes, and the catholic community still needed time to mourn and commemorate Pope John Paul, before they could love another Pope.  I feel many were just sad and dejected during Benedict's time. Then, strangely, he was the first Pope in history to resign. Then on the scene comes Pope Francis, a new charismatic leader that is reaching out to the younger generations and stirring the same sort of renewed energy and love that Pope John Paul did. 
  • I was amazed when the Pope received the Iranian president lately. It shows that we are not supposed to hate each other because of religion backgrounds. He has also met other Muslim leaders from around the world. He usually prays for the war torn Syria and Yemen and has always preached about peace. This makes him my favorite of all the popes that I have known.
  • Posts: 36
    Pope Francis reminds me so much of Pope John Paul II. The death of JP2 was truly a loss. He had a charismatic personality and reached out to everyone. He has such tender eyes and mild manner that communicate sincerity, kindness, and love. He worked until his body can no longer take it. Job well done. Pope Benedict was a great pope, too, although he was rigid and traditional. Anyone who succeeds JP2 will suffer in the comparison. I prefer Pope Francis over Pope Benedict because he has a charismatic personality that can help unite people and strengthen the member of the Catholic faith. That doesn't mean, however that I think he is better than Pope Benedict. 
  • I would say it depends on your definition of "better", and that's a pretty big telling point.  If you want to say, "Contributed more to social issues and human welfare overall" then I have to give Pope Francis more credit.  He has reached out in a way that few popes have, and he has embodied the spirit of charity and humility.  I think he has done a very good job of helping the Catholic faith connect with people of different religions, and many people of other faiths or none at all respect and like him, and that is a huge thing.  Benedict was more of the "old guard" and the fact that he really didn't do much to help the Church's failing reputation says a lot about how society is changing.  I think Pope Francis represents more of the social side of the Church and its moral values, and also the face of the Church adapting to the needs of the people, like how it did in the early days.
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