God bless the new Pope. Michael Potemra notes that St. Francis of Assisi was called to rebuild the Church. May his namesake repair what needs repairing.
On the subject of St. Francis, I highly recommend G.K. Chesterton’s short, entertaining and insightful life of St. Francis. (There is a nice edition which also has Chesterton’s short biography of Thomas Aquinas.)
25 thoughts on “Pope Francis I”
They certainly didn’t waste any time. My daughter and I were in Boerne this afternoon, and someone came into the thrift shop (which is one of her favorite commercial retail places in the world, as it benefits Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation near Kendalia) and someone came in saying that the College of Cardinals had voted on a new pope. The manager of the store is a sweetie and a friend, and she went to the newsfeed on her computer, but the Vatican was going through the required pomp and circumstance about announcing – and didn’t have a name yet for the news media. About twenty minutes later, we heard the bells in the big Catholic church in Boerne ringing.
So – first non-European pope evah. Good; the Europeans just don’t seem to be taking Christianity seriously any more. Jesuit – good, I think. An African pope would have been a sock in the eye to Islam, very likely, and a good thing as far as the intellectual defense of Catholic Christianity goes … but I’m not sure the cardinals and the established church was ready for that.70ies in age, though … the challenges are likely to pile up in the next few years; hope he is up to them.
I was thinking good thoughts about a Philippine or far eastern archbishop, but then I was raised as a heretical Lutheran.
This Pope’s reign will likely be 5-10 years. By then the Church leadership may be ready for a non-European who is not even Euro-derived. He is very conservative for a Jesuit. He is serious about helping the poor. I hope he will understand that this does not exclusively or mainly mean a zero-sums, finite-cans-of-spinach approach, but rather what John Paul II called bringing the poor into the “circle of production and exchange,” or in American parlance, dealing them into the game. As to Europe and Christianity, he made the curious remark that he was going to evangelize Rome, which is his diocese now. Of course, Italy is one of the most post-Christian societies in a very post-Christian continent. To relight the fire of faith in Europe? We shall see.
I assumed he chose the name for St Francis Xavier.
Helen, no one has suggested that possibility, as far as I know. But, who knows, maybe you are right. If so, His Holiness will correct everybody soon.
I had the privilege of attending mass said by John Paul II. That was a poke in the eye to somebody. If anyone has read Malachi Martin’s books about Popes, the intrigue is entertaining. They are fiction, of course but I suspect based on fact.
Stage I of Sith Reconquista: Jesuit Pope.
Stage II – Templar Pope.
Stage III – ABSOLUTE POWER
Why yes I am Catholic.
We have waited patiently for centuries, enduring you and your banjos.
Now our Revenge Begins. ;-)
What I have heard is that the bureaucracy is still awaiting an explanation from the Pope as to which Francis he’s talking about. It’s perfectly possible that he means both of them.
Both would work. Francis of Assisi for humility and austerity and love for the poor, Francis Xavier for heroic apostolate especially to Asia, i.e. the extra-European world, and also Jesuit like the Pope.
Wikipedia has a map of St. Francis Xavier’s travels. which is amazing.
Speaking as a non-Catholic I think filling John Paul II’s shoes is a tall order.
“first non-European pope evah”: oh come now. History is long.
I suspect the selection of the name Francis was more an extension of an olive branch to the Franciscans, with whom the Jebbies have had a long, none-too-friendly relationship, than it was homage to St Francis.
Dearieme: Peter was born and raised in Israel, which is in Asia. I think one of the articles I read said the first in 800 years, which strikes me as more plausible.
But Peter as Bishop of Rome is mere invention, surely? Presumably there were Popes from the Middle East or North Africa during the early part of the properly recorded history of the Roman Catholic church.
Point taken – some of the early popes could have been from the Middle East, Asia Minor or North Africa.
“But Peter as Bishop of Rome is mere invention, surely?”
I am not a Christian, but see no reason, other than prejudice, to suppose Peter any less historic than any other personality of the classical era.
“But Peter as Bishop of Rome is mere invention, surely?”
No, surely this is historical fact.
Peter was Bishop Rome, was crucified, died and was buried in Rome.
I dare say Peter existed but certainly do doubt that he ever went to Rome. Still, I suppose it’s as certain as, oh, the Donation of Constantine.
“I … do doubt that he ever went to Rome … it’s as certain as … the Donation of Constantine.”
It is true that the “Donation of Constantine” was forgery. That was determined in the first half of Century XV (1401-1450 C.E.).
I don’t think that impeaches the history about Peter.
We can be cautious and judicious, even sceptical, without being pyrrhonian.
The choice of the name Francis was – some might say inspired ambiguity. There is not any reason to choose either/or, especially when one of two choices was blessed with the gift of bilocation.
Nevertheless, it was remarkable indeed that nearly all the “very intelligent” American media talking-heads genuflected toward Assisi, and blinked Xavier. Yet, St. Francis Xavier himself was a Jesuits, who was canonized together with St Ignatius Loyola. Both were Spaniards and co-founders (with 3 others) of the Society of Jesus.
The Jesuits were the so-called “Pope’s shock troops” of the counterreformation. Does not Holy Mother the Church cry for a counterreformation? Did not Pope Benedict proclaim and promote a “New Evangelism? Who better to inspire Latin America – a land of missions, than the the Patron of the Missions and the Propagation of the Faith- St. Francis Xavier. Latin America, where evangelical Protestant sects have lodged substantial converts, and where Church has been always challenged by perfervid political anticlericalism?
In the U.S, it was the Jesuits of Georgetown (mea alma mater), America’s oldest Catholic university (1789), who most readily and shamefully capitulated to Obama’s diktat to mask the symbol of Christ – IHS – from behind the Gaston Hall podium where Obama chose to speak. [Hence, I signed this petition http://www.gupetition.org ]
Finally, allow that Jorge Mario Bergoglio is a devout Jesuit and prays regular devotions to St. Francis Xavier, and certainly most especially the Novena of Grace to St. Francis Xavier prayed between March 4th and March 12th. And, on the 10th day (March 13th), Cardinal Bergoglio was elected Pope and chose the name Francis. One can surmise most easily that it was St. Francis Xavier in his heart and soul after nine days of prayer to him. N.B. Novenas prayed do impress the heart and soul.
While St. Francis of Assisi speaks Love, St. Francis Xavier speaks of Action.
Media twits? What do non-believers know of Faith?
Every Pope is ex officio the Bishop of Rome.
March 12, the ending date of the Novena of Grace is the anniversary day of the canonization of St. Francis Xavier.
Peter’s travel to Rome and his death and burial are facts. No relation or similarity to a forged document,
Being an anti-Catholic bigot does not change the historical record.
What historical record? Stuff made up many decades after Peter would have existed. WKPD:
In 2009 Otto Zwierlein (de) concluded in a critical study that “there is not a single piece of reliable literary evidence (and no archaeological evidence either) that Peter ever was in Rome.
1 Clement, a document that has been dated from the 90s to the 120s, is one of the earliest sources adduced in support of Peter’s stay in Rome, but questions have been raised about the text’s authenticity and whether it has any knowledge about Peter’s life beyond what is contained in the New Testament Acts. The Letter to the Romans attributed to St. Ignatius of Antioch implies that Peter and Paul had special authority over the Roman church, telling the Roman Christians: “I do not command you, as Peter and Paul did” (ch. 4). However, the authenticity of this document and its traditional dating to c. 105–10 have also been questioned, and it may date from the final decades of the 2nd century.
Why the Roman Catholic Church of the late second century should be assumed to be more careful with the truth than the RC Church of later centuries is beyond me. Foundation myths are the ordinary stuff of human life.
We can be cautious and judicious, even skeptical, without being pyrrhonian.
Peter went to Rome and was crucified there…
Dear Troll…it’s our day..OK?
Founding myths indeed. Founding myths = History not fitting your narrative. Must be an Unitarian.
The point of the Bishop of Rome was Rome was the seat of world power.
And surely enough centuries later a Victorious Constantine had the Pope of Rome bought trembling from the catacombs to be informed the Churches fortunes had just fundamentally changed.
Perhaps someday soon it shall be taught that Lincoln for instance was not a Republican but a Liberal Democrat, and that the Republicans appropriated him for a founding myth. Shortly before schoolchildren are informed the Confederacy was Republican. If in fact – whatever facts are – it hasn’t happened already.
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