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The Secret of Pope Francis’ Typewriter

Sergio Roitberg - April 17

Standing before a cheering crowd in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis spoke of the pillars of the Christian faith: “Behavior, actions and choices.” It was a coherent message that reflects his own communications style,something that is vital not only for the head of the Catholic Church, but for any organization, business or government.
Since his appointment as Supreme Pontiff, on the 13th of March, Francis has paintstakingly undertaken the task of refining details and definitions that have resonated with people around the world, creating a fresh and renewed hope.
Soon after his first weeks in the Vatican, according to a survey by D’Alessio IROL consulting, 72% of Argentines were shown to be optimistic about Pope Francis’ ability to drive real change within the Church. Meanwhile, a study by Reuters-Ipsos showed that the new Pope’s acceptance rate is over 85% in the United States.
Such popularity was built without resorting to any drastic measures. Just a handful of tactical moves that appealed to the hearts of people everywhere. For example, the image distributed to the media in which the new Pope is seen paying for his hotel stay, the day after he was election. Or his rejection of the luxurious accoutrements of his predecessors, electing instead to live in the simple accommodations of the Domus Santa Marta, a church hotel with austere amenities—a simple bed, a crucifix, a bathroom and living room.
“Behaviors, actions and choices,” repeated Francis, and everything comes back to that same idea. Reflecting that philosophy yet again, he asked that the ornate gold throne used by Benedict XVI be replaced with a chair made of wood and leather.
Just hours after being appointed to his new role, he made an appeal for, “a poor church for the poor.” The consistency between his preaching and his actions is indispensable in the transparent and hyperconnected world in which we live. Pope Francis has used carefully selected expressions to connect emotionally with his followers. “We must not lose hope. We must never give up,” he said a few days ago. He later reflected: “Often, we prefer to play it safe. We fear the surprises God has in store.”

His words seem bulletproof, perfectly chosen. He doesn’t err even an inch from the path of humility and dedication he professes. Those at the top should help others, he said in one of his latest appearances. And he lives by his word. With his prehistoric typewriter—which predates even the iPhone by decades—Pope Francis proves that having the latest technology isn’t necessarily the key to communicating effectively in modern times.
He says what he thinks and he does what he says. Being this consistent wasn’t vital until recently. Today, the people demand it—even of the Vicar of Christ.


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