Local Catholic leaders weigh in on Pope Francis' impact on the c - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Local Catholic leaders weigh in on Pope Francis' impact on the church

Pope Francis is coming to the United States this month with stops in Washington D.C., Philadelphia and New York City. (File) Pope Francis is coming to the United States this month with stops in Washington D.C., Philadelphia and New York City. (File)
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Pope Francis hasn't been leading the Catholic church for all that long, but he has been making a big impact.

As his long-awaited arrival into America is now over, the question is: What makes Pope Francis who he is?

"What he'll bring with him is a vitality for the faith and a vitality for people and an interest in people and a dialogue with us a society,” said Fr. Benedict O’Cinnsealaigh, president of the Athenaeum of Ohio in Mount Washington.

Pope Francis comes to America with great fanfare and big expectations.

"This is a Pope that very much enjoys being out with the people, amongst the people,” said Archbishop Dennis Schnurr of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

The Holy Father is expected to bring a specific conversation on his first journey to America.

"Pope Francis is saying that we should begin to convey the teachings of Christ by putting first and foremost an emphasis on Christ's love, mercy and compassion,” Schnurr said.

He's taken on headline-dominating topics like gay marriageabortion, and marriage annulments.

"I feel like all Popes have talked about those things, and each one talks about it in a different way.  It may be that his difference is more a difference in tone,” said Fr. Tim Howe, S.J., who is president of St. Xavier High School.  "I think we're going to find that he's going to challenge us on issues that upset some people."

Some Catholic leaders, like Father Tim Howe, believe the way the Pope is might have something to do with his Jesuit training and upbringing.

"He has spent his life interacting with good-willed, intelligent people that have held a variety of opinions, and that's why he's so good at picking the best of both sides and presenting the gospel,” Howe told FOX19 NOW.

It's that that over the next several days the world will see as Pope Francis tours America.

"His message of common good resonates with everyone,” Schnurr told FOX19 NOW.

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