First came stories based on an interview with Archbishop Konrad Krajewski like this one. According to the stories, Pope Francis was unable to spend time distributing money–and love–to the homeless and poor as he had done prior to his elevation to the papacy. But Krajewski mentioned that the Pope had indicated he wished he could go, and soon speculation abounded (like here) that Pope Francis was sneaking out at night in disguise to continue his ministry to the poor.
The Pope is popular, that is for sure. And I certainly love his example. But there are two roles for a leader like the Pope. One is symbolic, and here the Pope’s example shines. The other is administrative. I think only time will tell whether or not Pope Francis is able to strike the right balance between those two roles.
My hope (as a non-Catholic who loves Catholicism) is that the Pope is able to encourage more Catholics to reconsider their relationship to their own faith and begin to take more seriously the teachings, doctrines, and perspectives of that ancient and honorable faith.