ONTD Political


9:26 pm - 03/13/2013

Pope Francis, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio Of Buenos Aires, Elected Leader Of Catholic Church

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires has been elected the 266th pope of the Catholic Church, taking the name Pope Francis.

He is the first Latin American pope to lead the church, as well as the first Jesuit priest.

Francis, 76, appeared on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica on Wednesday more than an hour after white smoke was released from the Sistine Chapel chimney at 2:05 EDT (7:05 p.m. CET) to signal that a new pope had been selected. Speaking from the balcony, he gave his first address as pope, the traditional Urbi et Orbi (to the "City and the World"), as crowds waved, cried and cheered for the new leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.

He prayed for the church, the papacy and for his predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

"As you know, the duty of the conclave was to appoint a bishop of Rome. It seems to me that my brother cardinals have chosen one who is from far away, but here I am," he said, adding that he thanked the church "for your embrace" as well as the cardinals who elected him.

"First and foremost, I would like to pray for our emeritus pope, Benedict XVI. Let us pray all of us together … so that he's blessed by the Lord and guarded," he said.

Francis was elected to the papacy after two days of conclave meetings with five rounds of voting. Voting in the conclave, which began Tuesday afternoon, is confidential and cardinals were sworn to secrecy, but Francis received at least 77 votes, which is the minimum two-thirds required to become pope. There were 115 cardinals eligible to vote in the conclave. All were under age 80 before Benedict's retirement, as required by Vatican rules. In 2005, when Benedict was elected, it took two days and four voting rounds.

The new pope steps into the papacy during a key period of transformation for the Roman Catholic Church. He faces a rising tide of secularism in Europe and western nations, and growth in other parts of the world, including his home continent, South America. During Benedict's tenure, multiple priest abuse scandals rocked the church in several nations, and Francis will have to confront the damage done to the church's reputation. The Vatican is also battling internal political turmoil, including VatiLeaks, the scandal involving a series of confidential Vatican documents released to the media during Benedict's papacy.

Amid changing mores on sexuality, including same-sex marriage, Francis' traditional views have clashed with cultural changes in Argentina. Before the nation legalized same-sex marriage in 2010, Francis called it a “destructive attack on God’s plan.”

But Francis, who was rumored in 2005 to be the runner-up to Benedict, also brings a more pastoral sensibility to the church, said the Rev. Raymond J. Kupke, an adjunct professor of church history at Seton Hall University. As archbishop of Buenos Aires, he reportedly rode the bus to work, did his own cooking and visited the poor in Argentine slums. Instead of living in an archbishop's palace, he chose to live in a small room in a downtown Buenos Aires home.

"Francis fills the bill in many regards. Latin American with Italian background, archbishop of one of world’s largest diocese, rector of a seminary," said Kupke. "His name choice says a lot. St. Francis spearheaded a new evangelicalism and was a man of simplicity and humility."

(It's unclear if the pope's name is a reference to St. Francis Xavier, a 16th-century priest who was one of the first Jesuits; St. Francis of Assisi, a 13th-century friar who founded the Franciscan order of priests or St. Francis de Sales, the 17th-century Bishop of Geneva.)

The Rev. James Martin, one of the best-known Jesuit priests in the U.S. and the editor-at-large of America magazine, said the "choice of a Jesuit pope fills me with joy ... The name Francis is a clear indication of his desire to focus on the poor."

In a 2007 address at a large meeting of Latin American bishops, Francis emphasized that belief. "We live in the most unequal part of the world, which has grown the most yet reduced misery the least," he said. "The unjust distribution of goods persists, creating a situation of social sin that cries out to Heaven and limits the possibilities of a fuller life for so many of our brothers."

At the same time, the new pope is expected to uphold church orthodoxy on sexuality, abortion, marriage and contraception. The same year he said same-sex marriage attacks God's plan, he also said gay people adopting children is an act of discrimination against children.

He has also shown compassion for people with HIV and AIDS; in 2001, he visited AIDS patients in a hospice where he washed and kissed the feet of 12 patients.

One of the concerns among church-watchers before the conclave was whether the next pope would be strong enough to reform corruption in the curia, the mostly Italian group of cardinals who run the Vatican. National Catholic Reporter correspondent John Allen Jr. is unsure Francis is the right man for the task.

"Doubts that circulated about Bergoglio's toughness eight years ago may arguably be even more damaging now, given that the ability to govern and to take control of the Vatican bureaucracy seems to figure even more prominently ... Although Bergoglio is a member of several Vatican departments, including the Congregations for Divine Worship and for Clergy, he's never actually worked inside the Vatican, and there may be concerns about his capacity to take the place in hand," he wrote in a profile of the cardinal before he was elected.

Allen also noted the pope's age. At 76, he is two years younger than Benedict was when he was chosen -- significant, considering Benedict resigned Feb. 28 because of old age and declining health.

Judy Jones, an American who is associate director the Survivors Network for Those Abused By Priests, said the group is keeping a close eye on Francis and wants him to "show the world that the sexual abuse of children and cover-up of abuse will not be tolerated." Ahead of the conclave, SNAP released two lists of 15 cardinals it was "most worried about becoming the next pope." Francis was not on the list and Jones said the she knows "very little about this pope."

Terence McKiernan, the president of BishopAccountability.org, an organization that tracks bishops' records on clergy abuse, had more pointed words about Francis.

"There is some evidence that Bergoglio is well aware that rebuilding the church will entail much more work on the abuse crisis than was done by Pope Benedict. For example, last year Bergoglio was outspoken regarding the case of accused (Argentine) priest Justo José Ilarraz," McKiernan said.

But while "Pope Francis’ meetings with survivors of sexual abuse will be less formal than Pope Benedict’s pioneering encounters," McKiernan said Francis "encountered many cases of sexual abuse in the years when he was an auxiliary bishop and then the archbishop of Buenos Aires. Yet he has been content for the most part to remain silent."

Francis, whose papacy is effective immediately, will be formally installed at 4:30 a.m. EDT (9:30 a.m. CET) Tuesday, the feast of St. Joseph.

Before that, the pope will privately visit Saint Mary Major basilica to pray on Thursday in one of his first acts as pontiff. He will then have an audience with cardinals at 6 a.m. EDT (11 a.m. CET) Friday, as well as an audience with journalists at the same time on Saturday.

Papal installation typically begins with a visit with cardinals to the grottos of St. Peter's Basilica, where the first pope, St. Peter, is said to be buried. There, the new pope is expected to say, "I leave from where the apostle arrived," before a procession to the square and the installation Mass (the Mass lasted two hours for Benedict's installation in 2005).

At the installation Mass, Francis is expected to receive the Fisherman's Ring made for his papacy (the one Benedict wore was given up when he retired and purposely damaged by Vatican authorities per tradition) as well as the pallium, the woolen stole that's a symbol of his authority.

When Benedict was elected, 12 church representatives knelt in front of him at the installation: three cardinals, one bishop, a priest, a deacon, a married couple, a nun and man from a religious order, and two young people who have had their confirmations -- a key sacrament of the faith. A similar group could possibly kneel in front of Francis as a symbolic pledge of obedience.

After the Mass, the new pope customarily is driven around St. Peter's Square to greet groups of priests and laypeople from around the world. In the following days, he is expected to visit St. Paul and St. John Lateran basilicas. The first visit is usually to St. Paul -- outside the Vatican City walls.

During his first few weeks as pope, Francis will live in a temporary apartment away from the official papal residence. Vatican spokesman Lombardi previously showed reporters a video of the new pope's short-term home, which has a study, a sitting area and a carving of Jesus Christ's face on the headboard of the bed. Francis will stay there while the official papal apartment is renovated. The apartment was sealed after Benedict's resignation and church rules say it can't be reopened for any reason until there is a new pope.


srsly - 76?! are they trying to fulfill that prophecy and bring about Teh End?
Page 1 of 2
<<[1] [2] >>
mollywobbles867 14th-Mar-2013 01:31 am (UTC)
What prophecy?
blackjedii 14th-Mar-2013 01:35 am (UTC)
here ya go
blackjedii 14th-Mar-2013 01:41 am (UTC)
but seriously

I get that the leader of all of Catholicism should be wise and have plenty of experience but good Lord, I'd almost imagine that you're trying to get some consistency and stability in terms of policy. 76 is kind of ridiculous...
tabaqui 14th-Mar-2013 01:42 am (UTC)
All this ridiculous 'ritual'. Damaged rings and colored smokes and people kneeling.... I guess the bread and circuses keeps the masses entertained.
sorchekyrkby 14th-Mar-2013 01:47 am (UTC)
The ritual is one of the things that keeps me nominally Catholic; the incense and vestments and whatnot all dating back hundreds of years just really help me feel spiritually complete in a way that other processes just...don't. But YMMV, and that's fine too.
sorchekyrkby 14th-Mar-2013 01:42 am (UTC)
It's heartening to see that he lived much more simply than many of his predecessors, and also nice to see that he is pro-gay adoption. As nuts as it sounds, that *is* progress. However, so much more work needs to be done, and I'm hoping that His Holiness will be another John XXIII bent on reforming the Church for the betterment of humanity.
redstar826 14th-Mar-2013 01:44 am (UTC)
and also nice to see that he is pro-gay adoption.

ummm, that isn't true

layweed 14th-Mar-2013 01:47 am (UTC)
idk maybe it's the atheist in me, but i can't seem to bring myself to care who they pick since the system will go on its merry way all the same. =\
cuterabbit33 14th-Mar-2013 01:52 am (UTC)
Same here. To me this literally changes nothing.
windygables 14th-Mar-2013 01:48 am (UTC)
I went to St. Peter's square when they announced the smoke was up and damn nuns were vicious at pushing to get to the front.
All I can say is that the guy cracked a joke before he stared talking, affable guy. Personally I feel like the world-changing hopes placed upon him are high but then if you can't count on the pope to be able to cause change then who knows who can
flyingwild 14th-Mar-2013 01:39 pm (UTC)
I think the Pope is one of the last people on the planet most people expect to cause change, right now...
mdemvizi 14th-Mar-2013 01:52 am (UTC)
As a non-practicing Catholic I watched the white smoke business this afternoon. I was really surprised to see the election of a Pope outside of Europe and I am hoping it is good for the Church. He is Jesuit which is a huge plus. While he is not good with the gays I hope he can help the Church get out of the slump it is currently in.

I liked how humble he was with his opening speech. I don't think he is going to be a miracle worker or anything like that but it is exciting. Yeah it is another white guy but I hope this one is different with Jesuit teachings.
the_laugh 14th-Mar-2013 02:19 pm (UTC)
I was thrilled he is a Jesuit as well...hopefully, this is the beginning of a new era. I can hope, right?
roseofjuly 14th-Mar-2013 02:04 am (UTC)
I don't have any illusions that the inner circle of the church is going to select anyone with liberal views. Especially not now. It's been documented that the Catholic clergy's belief is wide and far apart from that of the laity, especially when you get into the upper echelons.
moonshaz 14th-Mar-2013 02:57 am (UTC)
wikilobbying 14th-Mar-2013 02:17 am (UTC)
i'm mostly waiting to see if/how he approaches the issue of sexual abuse in the church. otherwise, i hope he does actually do some good on the social justice side of things. but other than that, they're apparently remaining stubbornly conservative on key issues that increasing numbers of catholics are viewing more progressively, and idk how they expect to be taken seriously as they become so out of touch with most catholics.
hinoema 14th-Mar-2013 04:31 am (UTC)
Why do yo think this guy got picked? He's a way to dissociate the Papal office from the current scandal, since he is such a visible departure from the last one. They pulled a Ridcully Brown, more or less.
zinnia_rose 14th-Mar-2013 02:18 am (UTC)
I was thinking that they could have picked worse until I heard that Horatio Verbitsky, a human rights journalist, says that Bergoglio reported liberal priests and monks to the junta during Argentina's National Reoganization Process (AKA the process of becoming a dictatorship). Some of them "disappeared" shortly afterwards. :/

Source in English: http://my.chicagotribune.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-74798142/
Way better source in Spanish: http://www.eldiario.com.co/seccion/GENERAL/relacionan-al-papa-con-dictadura-militar-argentina1303.html
maenads_dance 14th-Mar-2013 02:24 am (UTC)
Comment twins.
maenads_dance 14th-Mar-2013 02:23 am (UTC)
I just enjoy the opportunity to say HABEMUS PAPAM.

Also -- I understand why people are encouraged to see a Jesuit as Pope, and it is interesting. But I admit I'm less concerned with whether or not Francis I will carry out the Jesuits (supposed) ideals of charity to the poor, and more concerned that yet again we have a pope with long, nasty allegations of gross human rights abuse in his history.

Reading that he may have handed over Jesuits to the Argentine dictatorship for "disappearing", and even hidden political prisoners in his own home to keep human rights orgs from finding out, was deeply dispiriting.
aviv_b 14th-Mar-2013 02:59 am (UTC)
I also was hopeful for about ten seconds when I heard he was a Jesuit, and had spent time working with the poor, but then I realized it's just old wine in new bottles.

In addition to the usual anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-birth control stance we have that little matter of his actions during the Argentine Dictatorship. Disappearing priests, I wonder what he knows about the "Flying Nuns" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_Domon).

(If anyone is interested in learning more about this, I hope its OK to recommend two sources: A Lexicon of Terror by Marguerite Feitlowitz and Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number by Jacobo Timerman. If you have other recommendations, please reply).

TL;DR They traded someone who aided and abetted child abuse to someone who aided and abetted murder. Nice.
romp 14th-Mar-2013 06:08 am (UTC)
all this--thanks for the links!
maynardsong 14th-Mar-2013 03:06 am (UTC)
Am I the only one who's ready to just have the entire institution of the Vatican fall altogether? Is that rank blasphemy? Because seriously, the Vatican's anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-electing women to the post of Pope...just...why is it worth preserving the institution at all?
hinoema 14th-Mar-2013 04:34 am (UTC)
If it were soaked in oil, I would be the first in line with a match. (After rescuing all the stolen cultural bling.)
jenny_jenkins 14th-Mar-2013 03:16 am (UTC)
Jesuit A+

Chooses Francis as his Pontifical name? Bonus points, actually.

75 years old and from Argentina? I want a serious news-outlet/newspaper to find out where he was during the Dirty War. NPR thinks there's nothing to the rumours. I am suspicious, nevertheless.
kittenmommy 14th-Mar-2013 03:35 am (UTC)

So, first a Nazi, and now this guy. Wow.
belleweather 14th-Mar-2013 03:20 am (UTC)
What's the current over/under for the amount of time this dude reigns as pope before he kicks the bucket? I'm voting for 5 years.
kittenmommy 14th-Mar-2013 03:35 am (UTC)

Please don't say that. My dad is about his age. :(
poetic_pixie_13 14th-Mar-2013 03:55 am (UTC)
St. Francis of Assisi is one of my favourite saints, ngl, and the Jesuits have always seemed pretty nifty. I was excited about him being a Jesuit as well as his simple living and care for the poor until I read about his reporting liberal priests during the dirty war.

Well, he can go fuck himself, I guess.
cindel 14th-Mar-2013 04:25 am (UTC)
Lol no. Same old same old. He's a Jesuit that sold out his own during the junta.

At least the Illuminati is proud.
rkt 14th-Mar-2013 05:06 am (UTC)
othellia 14th-Mar-2013 05:26 am (UTC)
little_rachael 14th-Mar-2013 05:34 am (UTC)
Can we not with the ageism? 76 really isn't that old. Many people are now living into their 90's and even 100's, and there's so much to legitimately criticize about this guy. Let's not take the road of insulting every other old person. 76, even with one lung, hardly means he's about to keel over and die.
dienaid 14th-Mar-2013 02:41 pm (UTC)
I agree. I thought that was kind of gross in the OP.
ennifer_jay 14th-Mar-2013 05:38 am (UTC)
The only thing remotely cool about this is that I just finished looking at the list of the popes on Wikipedia, and damn, it's kind of creepy/surreal that they have all of those records so meticulously maintained.
blackjedii 14th-Mar-2013 11:14 am (UTC)
In retrospect the people who would have kept the records were part of a group that were only ones who would b consistently literate.

They probably didn't have a lot to write about otherwise...
browneyedguuurl 14th-Mar-2013 05:54 am (UTC)
I don't know what to think. I have loooong given up on the Catholic church to be honest. And 76?!? Also, Argentina's president doesn't seem to be very fond of him. He is very anti gay rights too. There are rumors he collaborated with the dictator regime in Argentina in the 70's.
ljtaylor 14th-Mar-2013 08:54 am (UTC)
I am starting to think that the reason Popes are elected at the age they are is not strictly for their "wisdom and experience" but so that they can pretend that the terrible things they did in their youth don't matter anymore.
thecityofdis 14th-Mar-2013 02:16 pm (UTC)
Meh, I think it's the Vatican's way of installing term limits, personally.
Page 1 of 2
<<[1] [2] >>
This page was loaded Oct 24th 2016, 3:55 pm GMT.