He also goes out of his way to spend time with ordinary people, be it in a correctional facility, in processions, or on the phone. Often dubbed 'The People's Pope', he's making the most of his promotion, on a mission to do real good in the world. Catholic or not, most people are thrilled that such an influential person is providing an excellent example of how to live a life of service and mercy. 

But I wasn't quit as pleased the author of an article in the Huffington Post about Pope Francis' first encyclical (co-authored with the last Pope, Benedict XVI). The author says that the encyclical '...reflects Francis’ subtle outreach to nonbelievers'. While an atheist myself, I'm a cultural Catholic, brought up with that religion. Since so many of my loved ones are observant Catholics and the Catholic church is so influential in the world, I'm very interested in what goes on in it. The first encyclical of a new Pope is a big deal, and the encyclical does a good job of promoting Catholic teaching with inspirational language and metaphors. However, the authors also resort to bad arguments to make their point. In some instances, they contrast their doctrines, for positive effect, against 'straw man' versions of non-believers' views. In others, they set up false dichotomies, where they present Catholic doctrine as the only positive alternative to something bleak. I was disappointed that such educated and influential men, willfully or otherwise, so thoroughly mischaracterized attitudes and beliefs of secular people. 

A 'straw man' argument is the logical fallacy of first constructing a caricatured or artificial version of an opponent's arguments, then attacking the false arguments in place of the real ones. A false dichotomy is a related fallacy, where the argument is presented as offering only two possible choices: the (arguer's) favored position, or an opposing, usually unattractive or unbelievable one. While often effective in politics, these tactics are recognizable as a sign that the arguer finds himself in a disadvantage. He might find that he can't understand the arguments of his opponent, he might find that the opponent's real arguments are so strong that he can't find a way to answer them, or he might find that they're worryingly attractive to others so he wishes to obfuscate, misrepresent, or conceal them. The first two are less likely in this case as the authors are educated and articulate men. I think something like the latter is what's going on here. 

I also found that the encyclical promoted some worrying misconceptions about human beings, their nature and how they actually go about thinking, learning, being good, and finding meaning for themselves. They describe human nature through the lens of a very narrow Catholic conception, which is to be expected, but they ignore, denigrate, or dismiss the validity of other accounts of human nature, informed by the sciences, the liberal arts, and other belief systems.