People from a variety of religious affiliations have expressed their admiration for Pope Francis who is scheduled to visit the United States beginning September 22.
The Pope has made a name for himself by being intentional in engaging with people, humbly serving others, and advocating social reforms.
The Pope’s engaging personality and down-to-earth approach to religion have garnered the support of many religious leaders, Catholic and otherwise, according to Christian Today.
Baptist pastor Benjamin Corey said he grew up being wary of Catholics, but Pope Francis has changed his mind.
"I never imagined that I would find myself connecting with a pope, and even cheering him on, but this is where I have found myself," Corey said, adding that he appreciated how Francis remained humble even though he is the most influential religious leader in the world.
Hindu-American Padma Kuppa also voiced her admiration for Pope Francis, commenting on the instance when Francis knelt down to wash the feet of 12 prisoners and a baby.
"You're saying, 'I'm humble before you,'" Kuppa said of the gesture. She believes Pope Francis engaged in the humble act to show the world that "no individual is less than him."
Muslim Imam Mohamad Bashar Arafat says he also supports Pope Francis. “I see him trying to emulate St. Francis in outreach,” Arafat said. “It is our responsibility as a Muslim community to raise our voices and say thank you.”
Even Hollywood actors and actresses approve of the Pope.
Lord of the Rings star Viggo Mortensen said, “All in all, he seems to me a lot more humane, more humble--he’s more human than the last pope, certainly. He’s more personal--he’s engaged with people when he speaks.”
Pope Francis’s visit to the United States is a highly anticipated event. Millions of people are buying tickets to attend events at which Francis will speak, and in Philadelphia, 25 miles of highway will be closed for traffic control.
Publication date: September 15, 2015