Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pope Francis I

by Pa Rock
Fallen Catholic

The smoke was white and the big bell rang out, so it must be official:  the Catholic Church has a new Pope.

Congratulations to Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aries, Argentina, who was declared the 266th successor to St. Peter as head of the Catholic Church just a few short hours ago.  One minute the 76-year-old Jesuit was a Cardinal, a Prince of the Church, cloaked in bright red, and suddenly there he was on the balcony wearing the white robes of a Pope with the sweet air of infallibility.

The Cardinal is a man of firsts:  the first Jesuit Pope, the first Pope from a non-European country in over a thousand years, the first Pope from Latin America ever, and the first Pope to use the name "Francis' for his official Papal moniker.     Francis I is not the first caucasian to lead the church, nor is he the first man to attain that august position.  Indeed, the other 265 Popes have also been white men, and most of them have been on the elderly edge of life with uncomfortably old attitudes and notions about right and wrong and their roles in the lives of the faithful.

Pope Francis I is reportedly anti-abortion, anti-contraception, and anti-gay marriage, so he enters the Papacy significantly out of sync with most of the world's Catholics - perhaps with the exception of those in Uganda.    It would be a blessing for all peoples of the world if this important religious leader could navigate his Popemobile into the twenty-first century and operate realistically in a contemporary setting.

That would, of course, be a stretch for the man and the institution, but a Pope who was in touch with the real world would be such a blessing, and it would certainly help to invigorate a stagnant Church.

It would also be a blessing if the new Pope was vigorously invested in protecting children and drove the pedophiles from the temple.

There are two things that I particularly like about Pope Francis I.  First, there are reports that he avoids Church bling and pampered living.   His living quarters in Buenos Aries supposedly consisted of a small room and a twin bed.  It is inspiring to think that a Prince of the Church has the clay of Mother Earth oozing through his toes!  The other thing that I like about Papa Francis is this:  he is not a Ratzinger!

Pope Francis, may your heart and mind be open to the needs of people in today's world.   Bring the Church forward to stand with her people.

1 comment:

Xobekim said...

Can't you just imagine FOX NEWS Rome, with their talking heads bemoaning the fact that all the good jobs are going to the immigrants?