Pope Francis Will Reform the Catholic Church
Pope Francis' Humility and the Catholic Church's Restoration
White smoke rose from the Sistine Chapel today signaling the selection of a new pope: Pope Francis I or the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The pope’s name is very revealing and resonates with Catholics because the name is derived from St. Francis of Assisi.
St. Francis is the patron saint of poverty. He lived a life of humility, simplicity and was close to the people. Prior to becoming pope, Cardinal Bergoglio, caught the bus to work and lived in a simple apartment.
Pope Francis I's selection is a great one because Catholics wanted a pope to reform the Catholic Church. Many people hoped that the program of the new pope’s pontificate would include putting an end to the sex abuse scandals that have plagued the church. While Pope Francis did not have any reports of sex abuse while Archbishop of Argentina, he disapproved of same sex marriage and abortion.
In addition, because celebrities like Madonna and Lady Gaga have mocked the Catholic Church in attire and lyrics, the new pope had to be a humble man of God and someone who would evangelized the church and lead more than 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide.
After Pope Francis I's appeared dressed in a white robe on the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica, he began by praying for Pope Emeritus Benedict. He then asked the crowd of nuns, priests and tourists to pray for him in silence. His request is one of humility especially since the canonical election can be likened to the election of government officials.
Bergoglio joked about being the first South American pope after he was chosen by 115 Catholic cardinals following Pope Benedict’s resignation last month. He is also the first Jesuit pope. He is the 266th pope, but he received the second most votes after Cardinal Ratzinger in the 2005 papal conclave.