CNN news channel, like most, normally seems to dig out and glorify the worst of news each day. Murder, suicide, rape, mayhem of any sort, is more grist to their news mill. The female newscasters in particular have a harsh strident delivery as they read aloud, then invite even more endlessly vocal and argumentative "guests" into the scrum. If it ain't controversial it ain't worthwhile.
But this week things changed. Like millions around the world, a new news tone emerged from the bright, diamond hard ladies and men in the newsroom. It was one of yearning, happy unmitigated adoration. There was NO BAD NEWS!
Instead, softness, thoughtfulness, wonder, tenderness and at times emotional teariness took its place. The "guests" reflected this joy and caring. It was truly a once-in-a lifetime experience for all of them, and for the millions of global fans. It was adulation and enthusiasm beyond any ever given to any rock star. It's something very hard to describe, because you know it was a feeling in the hearts and souls of the masses; to each it would have been uniquely different, and yet universally glowing.
Maybe it was each person who was touched by the charm and sincere words of a humble, understanding Pope, feeling they have finally managed to find a listening ear, and someone who spoke directly to them on this huge occasion. Certainly, the Speaker of the House, John Boehner was visibly moved on listening to the address of His Holiness. He awoke the next day, probably in his head ran through the rabble rousing and infighting that had plagued him for months and decided to just leave them to it. He said his family became more important. His resignation takes effect in one month.
Pope Francis is a well rounded kind of guy - no more corners to be rubbed off. The life he's chosen has given him unique opportunities for deep reflection and in turn appreciation of the planet, and all flora, fauna and people that live on it. The wonderful thing is he's able to share his knowledge and attitude with mankind all over the world, in a completely secular way. His talk and actions are all about tolerance, love and mercy.
In less than a week, through the miracle of technology, the world feels they know the Pope in a very different way. His authentic personality shows a fascinating blend of head of state, politician, family adviser and supporter of all people regardless of who they are, and what lifestyle choices they've made. In a way, it's comforting to know that whatever life hands you, he is there, living humbly, and using his influence for the common good. And I'm so delighted to realise he has such a lovely sense of humor.
One of the touching things about Pope Francis is to see and hear his very tactful, self-effacing interpreter at his side. He is Monsignor Mark Miles.
This man is incredibly brilliant with his translation abilities - instant, even when the Pope goes completely off script, which is often! His voice with the dulcet toned English translation is very appealing, and he is always at the side of His Holiness; you might say he is his professional photo bomber!
As I write this it's Sunday, and he is about to say mass with an audience of one million people in Philadelphia before departing. What an amazing visit it has been. I simply had to acknowledge it.
In some way I feel I have been personally blessed, just to watch this extraordinary outpouring of love and goodwill. Pope Francis may have changed lots of attitudes in the the world.
I'd love to know what you thought of the Pope's visit!