Pope Francis’ words and actions have had a profound impact on countless people of various backgrounds, interests, and beliefs. In the interviews for my upcoming documentary, The Francis Impact, I’ve heard some beautiful and concrete testimonies of this. So I created #TFIMOMENTS, a web series to share some of these profound and personal moments of connection with the pope.
“A lot of times people think of social movements as coming out of moments of despair, or frustration, or suffering,” Nathan Schneider tells me when we meet to discuss the “Francis impact” on economic models last fall. He is an influential voice in the co-operative movement
who documented the Occupy Wall Street Movement. “I think the Occupy Movement in 2011 and the global uprisings that spread around the world that year are a reminder that movements actually come more out of hope.”
Whether people recognize it or not, the Catholic Church’s strong critique of the current global economic system comes from a place of love for all people and a desire for all to be included. It is a radically counter-cultural position that didn’t start with Pope Francis.
As Nathan shares in his #TFImoment, young people in particular are longing for alternative economic models, based on some fundamental Christian principles: solidarity, equality, participation, subsidiarity, etc. Pope Francis has recognized this, he says, and has articulated these ancient principles in ways that speak to the Millennial generation.
“It is a spiritual movement as well,” he tells me of the Occupy Movement. And that spiritual movement brings a challenge: “The challenge of seeing through the ‘principalities and powers’ (Ephesians 6:12) that claim to rule the world. To somehow see behind them the love that our faith contends is the reigning principle of the universe.”
For Nathan, Pope Francis’s words and actions have witnessed to that love, and inspired him to advocate for alternative economic models in a spirit of hope.