A commitment to social justice, a love for Tango; and Church politics
– who is this man?
“This holy old boy doesn’t realize what a hornet’s nest he’s stirring up”
This quote is from Giovanni Battista Montini, who later became Pope Paul VI, about John XXIII, affectionately known as ‘il Papa buono’ (the good Pope). This Sunday the latter will be sanctified, along with John Paul II, by the current Holy Father Francis I.
Why is this interesting? Well, because there are indications that Pope Francis I is stirring up some hornet’s nests again. And his Human Design Chart shows why he is prone to do that.
So I am going to look at some church history (I learned a lot doing research for this article) as well as explore Pope Francis I’s Human Design Chart for clues about the man inside the papal regalia.
Pope Francis I was born 17 Dec 1936 in Buonas Aires as Jorge Mario Bergoglio. The eldest son of Italian immigrants from Piemonte, he worked as a chemical technician and a bar bouncer before joining the Jesuits at age 26.
Francis is the first Jesuit Pope, the first Pope from the Americas, the first Pope from the Southern Hemisphere and the first non-European Pope since 741. How does he get all these ‘firsts’?
In Human Design he is the Manifestor Type, about which my teacher, Chetan Parkyn, likes to say: ‘they can do anything, in any way, at any time‘. For the rest of us – and that’s about 90% of humanity – this can be inspiring or intimidating, depending on how well the Manifestor communicates his or her upcoming action. Communication is a Manifestor’s greatest challenge.
Also as Pope, Francis I has continued his practice to wash people’s feet on Maundy Thursday, the day before Good Friday. Upsetting traditionalists (‘Jesus only washed the feet of men’), he includes non-believers and women. Another first.
Francis I is an Emotional Manifestor, meaning that various deep feelings arise in him, of which ideally he will be aware. When he gives himself time to let the emotional waves pass in their own rhythm, he finds clarity in a peaceful state that lies underneath the moving sentiments. Out of that clarity he can act and manifest pretty much whatever he wants. His decisions and solutions tend to be unconventional, because they come out of his individuality. One of his learnings is how to make his individual behavior fit in the situations he finds himself in. Keys for him are patience and tuning in to the light he carried with him when he came into this world, which he longs for and can probably recognize as the constant factor in the different experiences he goes through. One could say that unconsciously he looks for challenging situations in his life so that he can experience this inner light more clearly. And he may feel it as his life task to remind people of their inner light by being a living example of it.
Through attuning to his inner- and maybe also to the outer- Nature he can foresee what is coming and also express this. In the first half of his life he probably felt he needed rigorous discipline and withdrawal from society to keep his inner life uncontaminated. This has taught him how he can return to his inner state of peace in challenging circumstances. Sometimes his own mind challenges him too: with worries about his spirituality and ‘nags’ that some things in the past are not completed.
On one of his travels to widen his perspective and refresh his beliefs- typical for his Pluto in Gate 56- he saw this painting of ‘Mary untying the knots’ in a church in Augsburg, Germany. He was so impressed that he brought a copy with him to Argentina, where it has become an object of worship for the faithful. The knots are a symbol of the problems in life. In Human Design terms: his unconscious Neptune in Gate 64 gave the solution to the spiritual worries of the conscious Neptune in Gate 47.
In April 2013, 77 years of age, Cardinal Bergoglio was chosen as the new Pope. Most Cardinals who elected him probably hoped he would have little impact and leave the scene fairly soon. But just as John XXIII, also Pope at 77, who called the second Vatican council and initiated many reforms (an openness to other faiths, more independence for the local bishops, masses in the people’s languages instead of in Latin), Francis I upsets the Curie, the Roman Catholic bureaucracy. This comes from his deep-seated sense of social harmony and his wish to promote ideas that further this harmony. The ideas come out of his inner, individual understanding and he has a powerful, heartfelt way of bringing them in the open.
Besides the foot-washing, he stated that God “has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! … Even the atheists, Everyone!”, a statement that Vatican officials immediately retracted (‘only Catholics go to heaven’). And, in Sunday’s canonization, he has on his own initiative added Pope John XXIII. The background: John Paul II he has to make a saint to complete the process the previous Pope has started. About John XXIII, who has only one documented miracle (to become a saint one needs at least two miracles- the miracles prove that the future saint has special access to God and can therefore put in a good word for the ones praying to him or her) Francis has said that his calling of the second Vatican council qualifies as the second miracle. A Manifestor in action.
On the issues of celibacy, women priests, homosexuality, marriage, contraception and abortion Francis I is as dogmatic as every Pope before him. With the Catholics in the western world this does not go well, while those in Asia, Africa and parts of South America feel supported in their beliefs. Unlike his predecessors John Paul II and Benedict XVI, this Pope is able to listen to people and let their different ideals and opinions be. What may happen is that local constituencies are allowed more freedom, while the official doctrine remains the same. The future will tell.