Pope Francis to Fill the Red Shoes


White smoke flowed from the Sistine Chapel chimney letting the hundred thousand or so that gathered to hear the news that a pope had been elected by the 115 cardinals. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a 76 year old Argentinean, was selected to lead the Roman Catholic Church on March 13, 2013 as the 266th pope. Pope Francis had at least 77 of the 115 votes necessary to be elected. He has many firsts, first non European in over 1,200 years, first Jesuit priest, first from the Americas and the first Francis.

It is said that Pope Francis is a humble man who does not indulge in luxury. I am curious how he will adapt at the Vatican. When he became the Archbishop of Buenos Aries he refused to live in the archbishop’s house. He remained in his simple home where he rode the bus to work and cooked his own meals. The Pope assumed the name of Saint Francis of Assisi which should give us some insight into his papacy. He is a defender of the poor as was St. Francis of Assisi who founded the Franciscan order. Poverty was the foundation of the Franciscans. He is sending a strong message to the faithful, that we cannot forget the poorest among us.

Pope Francis has been quoted as saying to a gathering of Latin American Bishops, “We live in the most unequal part of the world, which has grown the most yet reduced misery the least. The unjust distribution of goods persists, creating a situation of social sin that cries out to Heaven and limits the possibilities of a fuller life for so many of our brothers.”

John L. Allen, jr of the Catholic National Reporter wrote about Jorge Mario Bergoglio on March 3, 2013. He noted that, Bergoglio is seen an unwaveringly orthodox on matters of sexual morality, staunchly opposing abortion, same-sex marriage, and contraception. In 2010 he asserted that gay adoption is a form of discrimination against children, earning a public rebuke from Argentina’s President, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

As Catholics, we should all be elated that Pope Francis will stand firm on matters pertaining to life. “Francis, go and repair my house, which you see is falling down.” These words were true in the time of St. Francis of Assisi and true as they are today. Pope Francis has many challenges ahead of him. We can only wait and see what surprises this pope has in store for his flock. We pray that Pope Francis will be guided by the Holy Spirit as he guides the 1.2 Billion Catholics world wide.

To read more about What Pope Francis is all about read his Lenten Letter of 2013. Follow link http://abyssum.wordpress.com/2013/03/14/our-first-encounter-with-the-spirituality-of-pope-francis



The Catholic Church Shifted Southward Over the Past Century http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/02/11/world/europe/the-catholic-church-shifted-southward-over-the-past-century.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&src=ig&_r=0

Profile: New pope, Jesuit Bergoglio, was runner-up in 2005 conclave http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/papabile-day-men-who-could-be-pope-13



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