An Argentinian Cardinal becomes Pope Francis

Pope selected

White smoke over the Vatican says the Cardinals have elected a Pope.

Catholics around the world rejoiced as a puff of white smoke rose above the Vatican, heralding the cardinal’s election of a new Pope – Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina. Cardinal Bergoglio will take the name “Pope Francis.”

The fact that Pope Francis is the first non-European Pope to be elected acknowledges that Europe is no longer home to the world’s Catholic majority. Instead, the greatest number of Catholics live in Africa and Latin America.

Tens of thousands of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics stood for hours in St. Peter’s Square, awaiting word of this momentous announcement. Upon seeing the white smoke, the crowd started shouting “Habemus Papam” (“We Have a Pope”), and long as “Long live the Pope.” Vatican and Italian military bands both marched into the square and up the Vatican steps. They were followed by the Vatican’s Swiss Guard, in their colorful regalia with silver helmets.

The occasion for this election was Pope Benedict XVI’s historic decision to retire due to declining health. Benedict, Formerly Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, was the first Pope in 600 years to retire.

Pope Francis, the former Jorge Mario Bergoglio

Pope Francis, the former Jorge Mario Bergoglio

Pope Francis is a 76 year old native of Argentina (although his father was Italian). After studying at a seminary in Argentina, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1958. He has a degree in Philosophy, and taught literature and psychology in Buenos Aires. Pope Francis was formally ordained as a priest in 1969. Because of his manifestly impressive leadership skills, he rose quickly in the administrative ranks of the Society of Jesus.

The new Pope has traditional views on contested issues. He opposes abortion and euthanasia. Although he supports the church’s traditional teaching that homosexuality is a sin, he has consistently urged that Catholics must treat homosexuals with respect. Unsurprisingly, Pope Francis strongly opposes same-sex marriage.

By electing Pope Francis, the Cardinals have reaffirmed their commitment to core Catholic doctrine. They will not lash out at those whose lives or beliefs are at odds with the doctrine, but they will not back down on central tenets of faith and life.

(Written by Bookworm; originally published at Mr. Conservative.)

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  • Ron19

    Elections can be easy and straightforward.

  • Charles Martel

    I was impressed with Francis’ Italian until I remembered that he is the son of an Italian immigrant who grew up speaking the language along with Spanish. In fact, the old saying about Argentina is that it is a land of Spanish-speaking Italians who long to be British. (Well, maybe not so much now that the Falklands are bobbing up in the national consciousness like a stool that won’t stay flushed.)
    The fact that he’s a Jesuit will be very interesting. That order is divided into two sharply distinct and opposing schools. One, dominant in U.S. Catholic universities, has been deeply corrupted by homosexual activists, critical race theorists, and Marxists posing as Christians. The other school has some powerhouse intellectuals that are still loyal to the Church and its teachings, the Magisterium. Francis is one of the latter, and I believe that many putative members of his order are quaking in their frilly purple underwear.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Come to think of it, Hammer, Italian and Argentine politics do seem to reflect upon one another.
    This is good news. The Anglican and Lutheran churches still recognizes the religious (but not political) authority and centrality of Rome. Let’s hope that some of it sticks.

  • Indigo Red

    Unlike all previous Popes, Frankie Uno has only one lung.

  • Ron19
  • KellyM

    I’m pleased with the choice, although I was completely gobsmacked. I was rooting for Cardinal Turkson, myself.
    As mentioned above, the Jesuit connection made me leery too, as all we in the U.S. ever hear from is the lefty Marxist end of the spectrum. It’s nice to know there’s a counterbalance within the Jesuit order. I understand from other sources that Pope Francis in his capacity as Cardinal was given to great simplicity and humility. Apparently he is much beloved in Bueno Aires.

  • Beth

    Habemus Papam!  So very exciting and a blessing to the world.  I am so happy for the people of S. America.  Just imagine–Chavez out, Bergoglio in!  Deo Gratias!

  • Earl

    Ha!  Thanks for that, Beth…hadn’t thought of it that way, but isn’t it GREAT!?! 
    I did hear that Pope Francis refused to live in the B.A. archbishop’s palace, occupying a small place downtown, cooking his own meals, and riding the bus (rather than the more traditional chauffeured limousine) to work every day.  They can use a little of that spirit around the Vatican, I’d think.
    Just to be accurate, BW….”homosexuality is a sin” isn’t the way most careful Christians would put it.  It’s entirely possible that same-sex attraction is innate, and even if it’s created by some environmental factor or other, “being homosexual” in one’s attractions isn’t sinful. 
    It is one’s ACTIONS, over which all human beings have a measure of control, that are labeled sinful in the Bible.  And EVERY sexual act outside of a Biblical marriage (man and woman joined in wedlock) is declared (Biblically) sinful, whether homosexual or heterosexual (and bestial as well, of course).

  • jj

    I don’t think, going to your last graf, there was ever much chance the boys in red would ever do anything other than reaffirm – or just affirm, no need for a “re” – basic doctrine.  If they don’t believe it, who does?  They are, after all, the boys in red, and though there’s some room – perhaps a tweak – for individual deviation around the dinner table after the 8th glass of a nice red to go with the beef, they wouldn’t be where they are if it interfered with the core unity of thought.
    A traditional Jesuit, which is something a shade craftier than a Borgia, is probably a good thing at this juncture.  A rigorous thinker, but with no lack of humility: a nice combination.  There’s a bit to clean up, smart, strong, and humble is good.  I’m not real sure about the “no lashing out” part, either.  I’ve read that he’s highly disinclined to allow such things as communion for democrats (pardon me, I mean people who favor abortion, gay marriage, and other things he sees as anathema), and will most definitely send an autographed copy of the rulebook to San Francisco – and a few other garden spots as well.
    It would be gratifying to see Nancy Pelosi, famous “practicing Catholic,” told in no uncertain terms to keep practicing, in hopes of one day getting some part of it right.

  • Charles Martel

    Nancy Pelosi reminds me of a young woman I worked with years ago at a newspaper. Rosie was a single mom, a tough broad who was a nominal Catholic. From our talks I could tell that she was promiscuous and thought that being able to screw whomever she fancied was a liberating way to live. However, I held her in regard because she had not chosen to have her daughter eviscerated in the womb when the boyfriend who had impregnated her decided to cut and run.
    Still, Rosie had a bit of cognitive dissonance. I remember her railing one day against the oppressiveness of a church that presumed to intrude on her sex life with admonitions about what was proper and what was not. I told her, “Imagine that, Rosie, a religion that actually has something to say about the most intimate, personal acts of your being.”
    I don’t know if what I said got through to her. She left the place we worked at not long after. But she certainly made an impression on me. She taught me that there’s a kind of Catholic who plays along with her faith, in love with the pageantry, ceremony, and sentimentality, right up until the moment that it endangers the orgasm. At that point, it is not allowed to intrude. I hope that Pope Francis instructs the Nancy Pelosis of my church that the time to make a choice between the climax and God is upon them.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Hammer, I suspect that working for you would be a non-stop adventure of the intellect.

  • Earl

    There’s a part of me that’s VERY much with jj in loving the picture of Nancy Pelosi getting her comeuppance….  She certainly deserves it, and given her prominent position in the public eye, perhaps ought to get what she deserves.
    This morning, my brother sent me this link, suggesting that both Ratzinger and Bergoglio have talked about similar things and have a somewhat more nuanced (and Christian?) view……

  • Charles Martel

    Earl, thanks for the link. I agree that Benedict and Francis do not come across as hardliners when it comes to the sacraments.
    But I do see a further nuance. Both men advocate for giving the sacraments as a way of softening hearts, and in the case of ministering to unbaptized or bastard children, a way to gently entice fallen-away parents back into the fold. No disagreement from me there.
    But Pelosi (as well as Biden and Sebelius) is the case of a hardened sinner who has used her taking of communion as one way of proving the validity of her pro-death cause. “See? I take communion and am not struck by lightning or excommunicated. Catholics like me can dissent in good conscience. Fear not!”
    Imagine her sitting at a table with Jesus, warmly included in his meal, but insisting on loudly belching and spitting out food she doesn’t like–and persisting despite his gentle admonitions. At some point she might be asked to refrain from her shows of disrespect. If not, perhaps she might be asked to attend no more meals until she shows some trace of remorse.

  • Earl

    Martel: Among my prayers for the new Pope will be that he sees the situation as you (and I) do. 
    There comes a time when those blessed with a prominent position in life become a threat to the church’s attempt to evangelize its own children as well as the wider community, not to speak of the unity of the church as a whole.  Isn’t it called becoming a “scandal”?
    Anyhow, parents have a right to their own “house rules”, and the Pope has got the same rights within the church…..or so it seems to me.

  • Ron19

    Here are a few of the wars the MSM and left will continue to declare, no matter how many times they lose on these issues:
    From the Orange County [CA] Register, Letters to the Editor, March 14, 2013:
    Letter: Pope Francis I won’t initiate doctrinal changes
    LA HABRA, Stephen Tarbell: As Roman Catholics say “hello” to our humble, new shepherd, His Holiness Pope Francis I, there is something that needs to be said to all those who hope that the new pope will be more “progressive” regarding certain dogmas of the Catholic faith [“New-world pope,” Front Page, March 14].  
    When it comes to issues like abortion and same-sex “marriage” the pope cannot make the changes that many would like. Non-Catholics and, sadly, many Catholics, believe that the pope can do anything he wants in regard to tenets of the faith. Many also think the church is “living in the past” so why not move into the 21st century?
      While the less-than-perfect leaders of the “Church on Earth” can, and many times do, fail to live up to the tenets of the faith they profess; the Church consists of more than just its sinful members. The Catholic Church is a “divine” institution; founded by Jesus Christ to continue His work here on Earth.
      And we believe that the pope and the Church are led by the Holy Spirit in guarding the truth of the message of faith that has been handed down from the Apostles (John 14: 26 and 16:13). As such, the Church, as an entire entity, cannot lead its members astray. So, the new pope’s hands will be tied regarding what he can do to “change” the Church’s teaching.
      Many may not want to hear this, but the Catholic faith teaches that dogmas cannot change. They are divinely protected. Thus, since the Catholic Church has formally decreed, as dogma, that abortion is always sinful and wrong, She can never change that. And, since She has formally decreed that marriage is a holy sacrament, instituted by God, meant to be between one man and one woman, She can never change that, either.
      Rest assured that Pope Francis I will continue to steer the same course that has been set by his predecessors.
      May God bless him.

  • Kevin_B

    I followed the conclave and watched the appearance of the new pope, Francis. It was a surprise to see Bergoglio become the new pope, but hearing about him, I kind of like him and think he’s a good choice. I think he’s the right man for the job, and obviously the cardinals thought so as well.
    Pope Francis has many traits I like and I look forward to hearing and seeing what he does. I say this as someone who is not Catholic (although I have Catholic inheritance in the family tree) and only Christian in a cultural/historical sense. In fact, I’m not exactly a religious person at all and have many questions, doubts and beefs about and with religion. But I do see and concur that religion has value and worth, and should have a place and role in the world.