Thursday, March 14, 2013

The New Pontiff: Pope Francis

"Brothers and sisters good evening.
You all know that the duty of the Conclave was to give a bishop to Rome. It seems that my brother Cardinals have gone almost to the ends of the earth to get him… but here we are. I thank you for the welcome that has come from the diocesan community of Rome.
First of all I would like to say a prayer pray for our Bishop Emeritus Benedict XVI. Let us all pray together for him, that the Lord will bless him and that our Lady will protect him.
Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Glory to the Father…
And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and the people, this journey of the Church of Rome which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood. My hope is that this journey of the Church that we begin today, together with the help of my Cardinal Vicar, may be fruitful for the evangelization of this beautiful city.
And now I would like to give the blessing. But first I want to ask you a favour. Before the Bishop blesses the people I ask that you would pray to the Lord to bless me – the prayer of the people for their Bishop. Let us say this prayer – your prayer for me – in silence.

[The Protodeacon announced that all those who received the blessing, either in person or by radio, television or by the new means of communication receive the plenary indulgence in the form established by the Church. He prayed that Almighty God protect and guard the Pope so that he may lead the Church for many years to come, and that he would grant peace to the Church throughout the world.][Immediately afterwards Pope Francis gave his first blessing Urbi et Orbi – To the City and to the World.]
I will now give my blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will.
Brothers and sisters, I am leaving you. Thank you for your welcome. Pray for me and I will be with you again soon... We will see one another soon.
Tomorrow I want to go to pray to the Madonna, that she may protect Rome.
Good night and sleep well!"


So began the pontificate of His Holiness, Pope Francis.

With the fifth ballot of the Conclave of 2013AD, the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church chose the Cardinal-Priest of S. Roberto Bellarmino, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, as the Successor of St. Peter and Bishop of Rome on 13 March 2013.  Archbishop Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio took the name Francis, becoming not only the first Pontiff to bear that name, but the first member of the Society of Jesus to be Sovereign Pontiff, the first Pope from the New World, and the first from the Southern Hemisphere.

Just as a side note, one does not have a Francis I until you have a Francis II.  It is proper, then, to refer to the Pope as simply Francis, as his name was announced.  Somehow it seems more appropriate, anyway!

Here is the announcement of the same by the Cardinal-Protodeacon, Jean-Louis Cardinal Tauran:

In an election filled with firsts, it is certainly worthwhile noting who this new Roman Pontiff is!  Pope Francis was born in 1936 in Argentina to Italian immigrant parents.  He took a degree in Chemistry prior to his entrace into the Society of Jesus -- the Jesuits -- and his ordination to the priesthood in 1969.  He was the Provincial of the Jesuits in Argentina from 1973-1979, rector of San Miguel 1980-1986, finally being consecrated an auxiliary bishop for Buenos Aires in 1992.  He became metropolitan Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1998, and received the Cardinal's hat in 2001 from Pope John Paul II.

Here is the Vatican biography of Pope Francis:

This video gives the general biography of the new pontiff [excuse the Francis I line]:

This is his entry at the wonderful Catholic-Hierarchy webpage:

This link is to his biography at the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church page:

Several articles written over the years give some insight into his background and character:
From 2002, written when he was a new Cardinal:

This is an interview with him in 2007:

This link goes to an article from 2010 on the former Archbishop of Buenos Aires:

Here is an interview of the Holy Father with Andrea Tornielli last year, in 2012:

This was written about him by John Allen earlier this month:

This article gives some immediate thoughts and background from Tornielli:

Here is another immediate reaction to Pope Francis, this from Sandro Magister:

This from LifeSite News reports on his trackrecord on life issues:

Some commentary and observations from the great Fr. John Zuhlsdorf:

Finally, some posts and commentary from a more traditional source:

Some counterpoint to some of the concerns on the previous blog:

Pope Francis has, it would seem, chosen his name in honor of the great St. Francis of Assisi, and he has chosen for his Installment Mass to be on 19 March, the Feast of St. Joseph.

May St. Francis and St. Joseph intercede for the latest Successor of St. Peter.

May Almighty God bless His new Vicar -- ad multos annos!

V. Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Francisco
R. Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatum faciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius.
Pater Noster, Ave MariaDeus, omnium fidelium pastor et rector, famulum tuum Francisco, quem pastorem Ecclesiæ tuæ præesse voluisti, propitius respice: da ei, quæsumus, verbo et exemplo, quibus præest, proficere: ut ad vitam, una cum grege sibi credito, perveniat sempiternam. Per Christum, Dominum nostrum. Amen.

Live well!

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