I admired John Paul II for his courage and Benedict XVI for his intellect, but how does one "like" a giant? As for Pope Francis, however, I'm starting to really like him. He's hands down the most down to earth Pope of my lifetime, giving the Church the break it desperately needed from all that Prada crap. Case in point:
A last-minute no-show by Pope Francis at a concert where he was to have been the guest of honor has sent another clear signal that he is going to do things his way and does not like the Vatican high life.
Minutes before the concert was due to start, an archbishop told the crowd of cardinals and Italian dignitaries that an "urgent commitment that cannot be postponed" would prevent Francis from attending.
The prelates, assured that health was not the reason for the no-show, looked disoriented, realizing that the message he wanted to send was that, with the Church in crisis, he - and perhaps they - had too much pastoral work to do to attend social events.
That empty chair sends a powerful signal, indeed.
I'd still like him to do two key things: First, appoint a Herculean cardinal to flush out the Augean stables in the Curia. Second, appoint a lay head of the Vatican Bank and have it transparently and publicly audited by one of the Big 4 accounting firms. Indeed, even though I'm generally not a fan of Sarbanes-Oxley, in the case of the Vatican Bank an independent audit committee and annual reports in internal controls would be a very good idea.