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New Pope: “Francesco, Francesco!”

  • March 14th, 2013
  • Posted by EUEditor

pope-francis.jpgThe College of Cardinals has elected Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio (picture) (13.3.13), Archbishop of Buenos Ares, to head the Catholic Church, taking the name of Pope Francis.

st-peters-crowd.jpgSpeaking in Italian, the new Pope told a huge crowd packed into St Peter’s Square, in Rome, his brother Cardinals had gone to the “end of the Earth” to find him.

Blessing the crowd he asked for prayers and blessings, and bid them good-night.

Large groups of South American people were there chanting “Francesco”, to greet the first non-European Bishop of Rome.

If from the earth’s end, Francis is a familiar figure at the heart of the Church in Europe, as the runner-up in the balloting that chose Pope Benedict XVI in 2005.

He will head a spiritual communion of some 1.2-billion people.

A Jesuit, the first in the papacy, aged 76, of Italian origin, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was ordained in 1969.

Vatican observers called him a conservative on Church doctrine, on issues like birth control or same-sex marriage, while also “open to the world” – concerned with social justice.

Not a proponent of “liberation theology” of the time, yet in sympathy with people driven to poverty during the years of economic crisis in Argentina, he followed a simple style of life.

If using words where necessary, he was known also for living in a simple apartment, cooking for himself, and giving up the “company car” to take the bus.

“He is the best of the Jesuit tradition … He is well educated; he can mix with the poor, and he can mix with the rich”, said the Australian Cardinal, Archbishop George Pell, in Rome (14.3.13).

eu-flag-site-reduced.pngThe European Union welcomed the Pope’s election, calling on him to be a strong advocate for peace, solidarity and human dignity.

Elsewhere at the end of the Earth, in Australia, 27% a Catholic country, the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, called the election of Pope Francis an “exciting day”.


St Francis Xavier, from Spain, was one of the founding seven members of the Jesuits, the Society of Jesus, to which the Pope now belongs, in the 16th Century. The Order is associated with ideals of social justice, and St Francis was a missionary, traveling widely to India, Japan and South-east Asia.

St Francis of Assisi, in Italy, an inspirational preacher of the 13th Century, founded the Franciscan Orders. He took up a life of poverty, and became among the most venerated religious figures. He was among the first to proclaim respect for animals, and started the practice of creating Christmas nativity scenes, with the farm animals all around.

The Prayer of St Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen