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Pope Francis I appears on the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica on March 13 in Vatican City, Vatican. Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected as the 266th Pontiff, the first ever from the Americas. Peter Macdiarmid, Getty Images
We have a new Pope….praise the Lord, may he be a true leader and renew the spirit of Christ this Lenten season and continue to lead the Church during the Year of Faith closer to God and bring more people closer to Christ.
It sounds like we have a Pope we can all be proud of, especially if you are also a Catholic. I look forward to learning more about him and hearing what he has to say and teach. He’s considered a ‘man of the people’ and refused to live in the Cardinal dwellings and chose public transportation over limos. He chose to cook his own food and raged against the legalization of abortions in Argentina and chose the humble name of Francis, after St. Francis. However, it’s unclear if Pope Francis took the name Francis to honor St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of peace, the poor and nature, or St. Francis Xavier, a Jesuit icon. Pope Francis is of the Jesuit religious order in Argentina.
The Jesuits are known to have helped rescue Jews during the Holocaust.
According to Wikipedia: The Society of Jesus (Latin: Societas Iesu, S.J., SJ or SI) is a Christian male religious order of the Roman Catholic Church. The members are called Jesuits and are also known colloquially as “God’s Marines“, these being references to founder Ignatius of Loyola’s military background and members’ willingness to accept orders anywhere in the world and live in extreme conditions. The society is engaged in evangelization and apostolic ministry in 112 nations on six continents. Jesuits are loyal to Church doctrine, as part of their service to the Roman Church, the Jesuits encouraged people to continue their obedience to scripture as interpreted by Catholic doctrine.
Twelve Jesuit priests have been formally recognized by Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority in Jerusalem, for risking their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust of World War II.
Several other Jesuits are known to have rescued or given refuge to Jews during that period. A plaque commemorating the 152 Jesuit priests who gave of their lives during the Holocaust was installed at Rockhurst University, a Jesuit university, in Kansas City, Missouri, United States, in April 2007, the first such plaque in the world.
The Nazi regime considered the Jesuits one of their most dangerous enemies.
As most of the world has learned, Cardinal Bergolio was elected Pope Francis by the 2013 Conclave earlier today. According to reports, Vice President Joe Biden will lead US delegation to witness installation of Pope Francis. Reuters reported earlier today that, Pope Francis’ inaugural mass will be held on March 19, Vatican says. Biden told NBC News earlier today: ‘I am happy to have the chance to personally relay my well wishes, and those of the American people, when I travel to Rome for his Inaugural Mass’
President Obama issued this statement earlier today after Pope Francis’s accepted his new position:
On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I offer our warm wishes to His Holiness Pope Francis as he ascends to the Chair of Saint Peter and begins his papacy. As a champion of the poor and the most vulnerable among us, he carries forth the message of love and compassion that has inspired the world for more than two thousand years—that in each other we see the face of God. As the first pope from the Americas, his selection also speaks to the strength and vitality of a region that is increasingly shaping our world, and alongside millions of Hispanic Americans, those of us in the United States share the joy of this historic day. Just as I appreciated our work with Pope Benedict XVI, I look forward to working with His Holiness to advance peace, security and dignity for our fellow human beings, regardless of their faith. We join with people around the world in offering our prayers for the Holy Father as he begins the sacred work of leading the Catholic Church in our modern world.
Obama also said the selection of Pope Francis ’speaks to the strength and vitality of a region that is increasingly shaping our world‘, regarding Latin America where Pope Francis originated from.
Nice thoughts…but will he follow through with his words and respect the Catholic Church and stop imposing his policies of abortion and contraception on members of the Church?? Under Obamacare we are losing religious liberty in this country for the first time, it’s time to overturn Obamacare and put an end to this monstrosity.
“VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A respected Italian journal said Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, a 76-year-old Jesuit, was the cardinal with the second-highest number of votes on each of the four ballots in the 2005 conclave.
The journal, Limes, said its report was based on information that came from the diary of an anonymous cardinal who, while acknowledging he was violating his oath of secrecy, felt the results of the conclave votes should be part of the historic record.
The journal said it confirmed the diary’s count with other cardinals.
Cardinal Bergoglio, who has also been mentioned as a possible contender in the current conclave, has had a growing reputation as a very spiritual man with a talent for pastoral leadership serving in a region with the largest number of the world’s Catholics.
Since 1998, he has been archbishop of Buenos Aires, where his style is low-key and close to the people.
He rides the bus, visits the poor, lives in a simple apartment and cooks his own meals. To many in Buenos Aires, he is known simply as “Father Jorge.”
He also has created new parishes, restructured the administrative offices, led pro-life initiatives and started new pastoral programs, such as a commission for divorcees. He co-presided over the 2001 Synod of Bishops and was elected to the synod council, so he is well-known to the world’s bishops.
The cardinal has also written books on spirituality and meditation and has been outspoken against abortion and same-sex marriages.
In 2010, when Argentina became the first Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage, Cardinal Bergoglio encouraged clergy across the country to tell Catholics to protest against the legislation because, if enacted, it could “seriously injure the family,” he said.
He also said adoption by same-sex couples would result in “depriving (children) of the human growth that God wanted them given by a father and a mother.”
In 2006, he criticized an Argentine proposal to legalize abortion under certain circumstances as part of a wide-ranging legal reform. He accused the government of lacking respect for the values held by the majority of Argentines and of trying to convince the Catholic Church “to waver in our defense of the dignity of the person.”
His role often forces him to speak publicly about the economic, social and political problems facing his country. His homilies and speeches are filled with references to the fact that all people are brothers and sisters and that the church and the country need to do what they can to make sure that everyone feels welcome, respected and cared for.
While not overtly political, Cardinal Bergoglio has not tried to hide the political and social impact of the Gospel message, particularly in a country still recovering from a serious economic crisis.
Since becoming archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998, Cardinal Bergoglio has created new parishes, restructured the administrative offices, taken personal care of the seminary and started new pastoral projects, such as the commission for divorcees. He has mediated in almost all social or political conflicts in the city; the newly ordained priests are described as “the Bergoglio generation”; and no political or social figure misses requesting a private encounter with him.
Jorge Bergoglio was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina’s capital city, Dec. 17, 1936.
He studied and received a master’s degree in chemistry at the University of Buenos Aires, but later decided to become a Jesuit priest and studied at the Jesuit seminary of Villa Devoto.
He studied liberal arts in Santiago, Chile, and in 1960 earned a degree in philosophy from the Catholic University of Buenos Aires. Between 1964 and 1965 he was a teacher of literature and psychology at Inmaculada high school in the province of Santa Fe, and in 1966 he taught the same courses at the prestigious Colegio del Salvador in Buenos Aires.
In 1967, he returned to his theological studies and was ordained a priest Dec. 13, 1969. After his perpetual profession as a Jesuit in 1973, he became master of novices at the Seminary of Villa Barilari in San Miguel. Later that same year, he was elected superior of the Jesuit province of Argentina. In 1980, he returned to San Miguel as a teacher at the Jesuit school, a job rarely taken by a former provincial superior. In May 1992 he was appointed auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires. He was one of three auxiliaries and he kept a low profile, spending most of his time caring for the Catholic university, counseling priests and preaching and hearing confessions.“
More About Pope Francis From USA Today:
- Ordained titular bishop of Auca and auxiliary of Buenos Aires on June 27, 1992.
- Became archbishop of Buenos Aires on Feb. 28, 1998.
- Received title ordinary for the Eastern-rite faithful in Argentina who lack an ordinary in their own rite on Nov. 30, 1998.
- Proclaimed cardinal by Pope John Paul II on Feb. 21, 2001.
- Participated in conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI in 2005.
- Served as president of the Bishops’ Conference of Argentina from November 2005 to November 2011.
- Reportedly received the second-most votes after Joseph Ratzinger in the 2005 papal election.
- Bergoglio never lived in the ornate church mansion in Buenos Aires, preferring a simple bed in a downtown room heated by a small stove. For years, he took public transportation around the city.
- When Bergoglio argued that gay adoptions discriminate against children, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez compared his tone to “medieval times and the Inquisition.”
Bergoglio is an accomplished theologian who distanced himself from liberation theology early in his career. He is thought to be close to Comunione e Liberazione, a conservative lay movement.
Abortion and euthanasia
Cardinal Bergoglio has invited his clergy and laity to oppose both abortion and euthanasia.
He has affirmed church teaching on homosexuality, though he teaches the importance of respecting individuals who are homosexual. He strongly opposed legislation introduced in 2010 by the Argentine Government to allow same-sex marriage.
In a letter to the monasteries of Buenos Aires, he wrote: “Let’s not be naive, we’re not talking about a simple political battle; it is a destructive pretension against the plan of God. We are not talking about a mere bill, but rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.” He has also insisted that adoption by homosexuals is a form of discrimination against children.
His doctrinal orthodoxy emphasizes Christ’s mandate to love: he is well remembered for his 2001 visit to a hospice, in which he washed and kissed the feet of twelve AIDS patients.
- He consistently preaches a message of compassion towards the poor
- Bergoglio prefers to emphasize spirituality and holiness, believing that this will naturally lead to greater concern for the suffering of the poor.
- He has, however, voiced support for social programs, and publicly challenged free-market policies.
Nina Shea at National Review writes, “Pope Francis I should be a strong defender of persecuted religious believers of all faiths. The world is in dire need of such leadership.
Religious persecution is the gravest human-rights abuse of our day, both in its global reach and the numbers affected and in its implications for regional stability and world peace. When Congress enacted and President Clinton signed into law the International Religious Freedom Act in 1998, the United States became a world leader in the defense of religious freedom, with the high point of American leadership being a negotiated end to a religious conflict in South Sudan that had taken some 2 million lives. But it is a world leader no more. Washington has abdicated that role even as religious repression is intensifying internationally.”
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