We had the white smoke and the bells of St Peters about fifty minutes ago. I’m watching Rome Reports live on the Internet.
I’ll edit this posting when we know who the new Pope is.
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The new Pope is Cardinal George Bergoglio SJ who takes the Papal name Francis.
I don’t know what to say. I’ll look at the reactions.
Pope Francis asks our prayers for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and is now praying the Our Father and Hail Mary in Italian. The emphasis is definitely on prayer. Evangelisation. Could this be like the response of St Francis of Assisi to the corruption of the bishops and priests in the thirteenth century? He is obviously a man of prayer and simplicity. There is also St Francis Xavier canonised with St Ignatius Loyola on 13th March 1622. Which Francis? Perhaps both…
The downside is that he doesn’t go down at all well with the traditionalists. On one blog, someone in Buenos Aires, his archdiocese until now, tells us that he “persecutes” orthodox priests and “de facto prohibited the application of Summorum Pontificum“. He doesn’t go down well with the progressives either, even if he will be using flat Novus Ordo. He is quite conservative in some ways and will stick to celibacy, no contraception, etc.
On the other hand, we get this commentary from Damian Thompson in Pope Francis I: a humble man from the New World whose first challenge is to end the scandals:
… a priest of holinesss and tremendous modesty of manner – a man who, until now, has taken the bus to work. His challenge is clear. He needs to learn from Benedict XVI’s greatest success – and his greatest failure. The success was the restoration of reverent, mystical worship to the centre of Catholic life, an achievement that has inspired a dynamic generation of young Catholics. The failure was Benedict’s inability to reform the corrupt structures of the Roman curia, which should be recognised as the rotten core of the abuse crisis, and which is likely to have loomed large as an issue in the conclave. The historic decision to choose a Pope from the New World will perhaps make that task easier.
We’ll see à l’usage. It’s no use judging – and actually presumptuous. Leave him to his job and see how he does over the next year or two.