As a Baptist, who the Pope is and what he thinks is not very important. As a Christian, many fellow believers do have respect and love for the Pontiff and they listen to what he says. As a Springfieldian, Rome is very far away and it is difficult to believe that what happens there will affect our lives.
Direct influence of non-catholic Springfield believers is going to be small. Indirect influences are harder to categorize and more difficult to discount. One fourth of Americans claim to be members of the Catholic Church. That leaves 75% who will be minimally affected by his actions or words.
As Pope Francis I was introduced to the world all the media personalities were asking questions and discussing the first Hispanic Pope. Will Francis give more attention to South America? Does the name Francis indicate an emphasis on helping the poor?
We have many questions, but they will eventually be answered. The real question is does the Vicar of Rome have that much influence in the non-Catholic world? The church has been around for some two thousand years, but the office of Pope may not have started until 366 A.D. under Emporer Constantine I of the Roman Empire.
Protestants have not accepted all of the Catholic Church history. The authenticity of the list of Popes as recorded by the early church may be in doubt by some not in the Catholic Church. While these men listed are accepted by Catholics, they may not be by all Christians.
Most of the controversy occurs over the doctrine of the infallibility of the Pope. Both Catholics and Protestants believe that Christ, not any man, is the Head of the Church. The question comes, Can anyone, even in the Church be correct all the time? Most Christians and others believe we are all fallible. Election to any office in or out of the church does not change that.