As i stared at the screen, waiting anxiously for the new pope to emerge and he seemed to be taking forever, i began to nurse the belief that a black pope was going to emerge from those curtains. i imagined a Pope Arinze. That was not to be.
But something equally unexpected happened.
The first non-European pope in 1,300 years, Bergoglio’s initial steps suggested he would bring a new style to the papacy.
“When we walk without the cross, when we build without the cross and when we proclaim Christ without the cross, we are not disciples of the Lord. We are worldly,” he told the massed ranks of cardinals clad in golden vestments.
“We may be bishops, priests, cardinals, popes, all of this, but we are not disciples of the Lord,” – Pope Francis.
When Jorge Bergoglio stepped onto the balcony at the Vatican on Wednesday evening to reveal himself as the new leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, that’s after the long wait and the up and down movement of those men in suit. By the way, what were men clad in suit and dark shades doing in the Sistine chapel?? Any how sha. As he stepped into view, he made history as the first non-European pope of the modern era, the first from Latin America, the first Jesuit and the first to assume the name Francis.
The 76-year-old, who served as the archbishop of Buenos Aires, is the first pope to take the name in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, revered among Catholics for his work with the poor.
The pontiff is considered a straight shooter who calls things as he sees them, and a follower of the church’s most social conservative wing.
As a cardinal, he clashed with the government of Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner over his opposition to gay marriage and free distribution of contraceptives.
He was runner-up in the 2005 papal conclave, behind then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.
The new pope brings together the first and the developing worlds. Latin America is home to 480 million Catholics.
By choosing him, the cardinals sent a strong message about where the future of the church may lie.
Francis’ first public appearance as pope — when he appealed for the crowds to pray for him before he gave a blessing — suggested a “different pastoral style” in comparison with the more academic approach of Benedict.
Francis is someone who has had “a day-to-day link with the population and ordinary people” during his many years at the head of a large diocese in Buenos Aires. He also sought to dampen concerns prompted by media reports that the new pope has only one lung.
Although Francis had part of one lung removed when he was a young man, the whole lung was not removed and the new pope is indeed in good health.
Born in Buenos Aires to an Italian immigrant father, Francis is known for his simplicity. And what we saw of that man’s first hours as pope reinforce that impression one which may go down well with his global flock, many of whom live in poverty or are feeling the squeeze of austerity.
This new pope Francis stood, rather than sitting on a throne, to receive the oath of allegiance from his fellow cardinals after his election, and for his appearance on the balcony wore just a white cassock and a simple cross, eschewing gold or jewels.
Also, on the ride back from the Sistine Chapel to the Santa Marta residence, he declined the papal car that had been prepared for him and instead took the bus with other cardinals. Humility dey worey dis man o.
His selection of the name of Pope Francis is “the most stunning” choice and “precedent shattering,” CNN Vatican analyst John Allen said. “The new pope is sending a signal that this will not be business as usual.”
The name symbolizes “poverty, humility, simplicity and rebuilding the Catholic Church,” Allen said.
Miguel Diaz, a former U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, agreed, calling the new pontiff’s choice of names “very significant.”
“Francis of Assisi is the saint who opted for the little ones in God’s kingdom,” he said. “This man represents a change and could potentially be a great gift for leadership, servant leadership, for all of us within the church and society.” It is something the Catholic Church says it desperately needs.
i still would’ve preferred “Pope Arinze”….sounds better.