Update: Pope Francis
Dominic Preziosi March 13, 2013 - 2:21pm
Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ,Archbishop of Buenos Aires, born in 1936, has taken the papal name Francis; he is the first Jesuit pope.Damian Thompson:
Pope Francis I is a priest of holinesss and tremendous modesty of manner a man who, until now, has taken the bus to work. His challenge is clear. He needs to learn from Benedict XVI's greatest success and his greatest failure. The success was the restoration of reverent, mystical worship to the centre of Catholic life, an achievement that has inspired a dynamic generation of young Catholics. The failure was Benedict's inability to reform the corrupt structures of the Roman curia, which should be recognised as the rotten core of the abuse crisis, and which is likely to have loomed large as an issue in the conclave. The historic decision to choose a Pope from the New World will perhaps make that task easier.
By choosing the name of the founder of his community's traditional rivals, the 266th Roman pontiff the first from the American continent, home to more than half of the 1.2 billion-member church has signaled two things: his desire to be a force of unity in a polarized fold, and his intent to "repair God's house, which has fallen into ruin"... that is,to rebuild the church.
John Allens profile of then-Cardinal Bergoglio, from March 3.
Back in 2005,Bergogliodrew high marks as an accomplished intellectual, having studied theology in Germany. His leading role during the Argentine economic crisis burnished his reputation as a voice of conscience, and made him a potent symbol of the costs globalization can impose on the world's poor.Bergoglio's reputation for personal simplicity also exercised an undeniable appeal a Prince of the Church who chose to live in a simple apartment rather than the archbishop's palace, who gave up his chauffeured limousine in favor of taking the bus to work, and who cooked his own meals.
Andrew Sullivan: "Even more than his predecessors, this Pope seems an unlikely fit for Paul Ryan-style Catholics."
About the Author
Dominic Preziosi is Commonweal’s digital editor.