Pope of the Americas

Francis, the first Pontiff from the New World, has a lot of old problems to deal with

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Luca Bruno / AP

Pope Francis bows to the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on March 13, 2013.

Habemus Papam Franciscum came the tweet, the first official word from the @Pontifex account, after the white smoke curled from the copper chimney watched by hundreds of thousands in St. Peter’s Square, by millions and millions on every imaginable 21st century technology around the world. And there it was, old and new, past and present, the arrival of a Pope who for the first time hails from “the most unequal part of the world,” as he once called Latin America, who cooked his own dinners and rode the bus and took his regnal name from the sainted champion of the least among us. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, brings to the throne of St. Peter a concern about the “spiritual sickness” that can afflict a church if it seems to care more for its priests than its people. “I want you to bless me,” he told the crowd, before it was his turn to bless them. He noted that his brother Cardinals had gone “to the end of the earth” to find the new Bishop of Rome. But there was a kind of subtle, rounded—perhaps divine—justice to it all. And by the time his brief debut was over, it was already clear that a profound change had occurred in an institution famously resistant to it.

The accession of a new Pope is always cause for wonderment—if only because the papacy of the Roman Catholic Church has managed to survive more trials than almost any other kingdom in history. No other institution can claim to have withstood Attila the Hun, the ambitions of the Habsburgs, the Ottoman Turks, Napoleon Bonaparte and Adolf Hitler, in addition to Stalin and his successors. Every new Pope faces fresh crisis and challenges. And in the 21st century, he does so at the head of a spiritual empire that touches more than 1.2 billion souls and whose influence crosses borders and contends with other great powers.

Time Magazine Cover, Mar. 23, 2012

Stefano Dal Pozzolo / Contrasto / Redux

(PHOTOS: Pope and Circumstance: the Road to the Papacy)

Francis, the first New World Pope, faces some old and vexing problems. He must confront headlines reminding him of the church’s failures in dealing with the scandal of priestly sexual abuse. He must reform the Vatican’s finances by way of a bureaucracy that originated in medieval times and is burdened by aristocratic privilege and the Machiavellian instincts of feudal Italy. He must respond to the opposing demands of a divided flock—with many Catholics in North America and Europe asking for more-liberal interpretations of doctrine even as many in the burgeoning mission fields of Africa and Asia warm to the conservative comforts of the faith. Unlike some of the cataclysmic challenges in the church’s past, these problems are internal—but as such, they are more difficult to resolve.

And then there is the unprecedented presence of his old conclave rival, Pope emeritus Benedict XVI—distinguished and professing to be silently retired yet still an embodiment of a conservative legacy that will be difficult to touch while he remains alive. With all this to handle, fighting Napoleon and the Turks may well have been easier.

Bergoglio almost made history eight years ago, when he was rumored to have been the only real challenger in the several rounds of balloting that led to the election of Joseph Ratzinger as Benedict XVI. That itself was history: Ratzinger became the second consecutive non-Italian to head the Roman Catholic Church. Now Bergoglio too has made history, as the first Pope from Latin America. Yet as the son of Italian immigrants, he has also brought the papacy back home to the land of his ancestry. Full circle, yes, but with a great many detours.

Outside the papal conclave, the handicappers had some obvious favorites and inevitable dark horses. Bergoglio was neither. Among the natural heirs were the Cardinal of Milan, who seemed to have been promoted quickly through important offices by Benedict XVI, and the Cardinal of São Paulo, a favorite among the bureaucrats of the Roman Curia. Even another Argentine Cardinal was more favored than Bergoglio. But as the old saying goes, He who enters the conclave a Pope leaves it a Cardinal. Almost everyone had overlooked Bergoglio, 76, believing he was too far along in years and that his moment had passed. He was also a Jesuit, and no Jesuit had ever been Pope before.

MORE: Habemus Papam: Francis, the First Pope from the Western Hemisphere

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63 comments
UgonnaEzeh1
UgonnaEzeh1

I love the new pope and those of you judging him God said don't judge

Mr.Squire
Mr.Squire

There are so many things wrong with this Pope, the Article, His background and the term "New World" pope.  What "New world"?   Being kind of blatant there aren't they?


the most unequal part of the world,” as he once called Latin America... Latin America is the MOST UNEQUAL?  really? so Afrika is where on his list?  or do they not exist (keeping with the philosophy of the catholic church since it was established)?


No other institution can claim to have withstood (WHILE SUPPORTING) Attila the Hun, the ambitions of the Habsburgs, the Ottoman Turks, Napoleon Bonaparte and Adolf Hitler (WHO WAS A MAJOR CONTRIBUTOR) , in addition to Stalin and his successors.

NEW WORLD POPE- for the NEW WORLD ORDER.


Pathetic!

petrellisgists.blogspot.com
petrellisgists.blogspot.com

hi guys, i have posts on Pope francis 1...i'm actually new to blogging, please go to my blog and share comments thank you so much. 

petrellisgists.blogspot.com

timevicente
timevicente

Is prejudging a virtue? Isn't too early to judge Pope Francis I? Behold the legions (1.2 billions) of Catholics, our brothers all, who pin their hope on their new Pope.  Shall we dampen their expectations? No, we would rather be considerate.

jm379
jm379

''The church is becoming more Latino"?! Now thats a laugh and an ironic twist. No offense or bigotry intended but Latin, by language, culture, and tribes originated and devoloped in Italy by ancient Rome, Julius Ceaser, Pompeii, and the Vatican itself and its the Italians' heritage and legacy for over 2000 years being themselves the true original Latins. How did this term now end up being used practically exclusively for Spanish speaking peoples especially of the Western Hemisphere and made into a racial category for themselves plus corrupted into Latino when most of them are of mixed racial strain, when Latin didnt come from them , nor did they ever speak it? It is very surprising that no one with a decent knowledge of history doesnt set the record straight on one of the worlds most profound heritages. If the excuse is made that Spanish is derived from Latin then so is French and of course Italian itself which is the closest to it. However, this Pope should be called a Latin pope because he is of Italian ancestry from where Latin came from and if any of the Central and South American countries can come close to being called Latin then it would be Argentina since most people are of European backround with over half of Italian ancestry. Also, being that Latin originated from Europe it is part of the white race just as Slavic and Celtic is.

epov111
epov111

We have a new pope, Pope Francis,  whose character, mental acumen, simplicity, humility and a clear sense of vision and mission for the Church are apparent and felt by those who have come to know him personally. Indeed, he has the capacity and moral ascendancy to lead the flock by example, particularly at this time and age when the Church, just like any other international human institutions, such as the United Nation and its member countries themselves, collectively and individually, is buffeted by internal and external conflicts, which to a certain degree and instance even made his predecessor Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI admit as "moments of turbulent seas and rough winds, as have occurred in the history of the church when it seemed like the Lord was sleeping."
But the Catholic Church will survive as it has survived for the last 2,000 years or so. It even survived the great Roman Empire, which persecuted the early Christians and even crucified to death the first Pope, now venerated (not worshiped) as St. Peter, the apostle, just as it has survived the scribes and pharisees, the Turks and the vandals and the other empires, kingdoms and dictatorships listed in human history.
What is a bigger issue today for the Church, which  our new Pope Francis is fully aware of and is determined to address is for all living Christians to follow the footsteps of Christ not only to Calvary but more so to His teachings of love - to love God and to love one another by daily and actually manifesting it in an act of mercy to a person in need of such mercy, which act is, indeed,  more pleasing to a benevolent God than a thousand heads bowed in prayer or a million hands lifted with shouts and songs to the heavens.

btt1943
btt1943

The Pontiff is a powerful person, exemplary to all 1.2 billion Catholics on earth. He has a tough task ahead of him, sorting out the scandals and clarifying doctrinal interpretations. We wish him all the best.     (ttm1943)

Galen
Galen

Big deal!

Watch, he will be a clueless and worthless as the rest. Of course he is supposedly more pious and playing that game, lets see if he can move this church into the 21st century, like many of the faithful in the US and around the world. Misogyny will still lead the way, and he will still be more about what his own ego, in projecting some image to the world. And I am a guy, and am not a Catholic.

jofishy
jofishy

Homosexuality is a lie by the devil? That is the best we got?  The Jesuit wing is supposed to be the most educated of the Catholics.  The priesthood is rife with pedophilia and this is the best we have...Blast gay marriage right at the beginning...Homosexuality is found in 1000s of organisms, but we somehow still feel it is an abomination to God and nature, and that it is a lie...The biggest lie ever told is that there is a all supreme being that created the whole universe ...and that we were created in its image...It loves us immensely....KNOWS all..SEEs all..and it's hand is in EVERYTHING...Even creates evil  ISAIAH 45 7...Creates the Devil too...Things get so bad he has to recreate himself so he can destroy himself to save his followers from his own condemnation...and will come back yet again to destroy the whole world because nobody is believing supposedly....Now how about condemnation in the bible..Why don't we care about eating shrimp or wearing clothes of two kinds of threads or...tattoos?  Religion is delusional at best...insanity at worst...

suzyroger7
suzyroger7

God Bless Pope Francis and the Catholic church founded by Jesus himself.


And I pray for many of the poor souls below.

cjones1
cjones1

Pope Francis...may he promote virtue which is redefined and ridiculed in the modern world. May he define the separation of church and state as more leading political thinkers push government to supplant the church in moral thought and aid to the poor. Render unto God what is God's and unto Caesar what is Caesar's. Abortion is primitive human sacrifice, may Pope Francis instill virtuous thoughts that allow the proponents to be delivered from evil. May he give strength to those who need to be led from temptation.

I was apprehensive about Pope Benedict's departure, but now I am satisfied with the choice of Pope Francis. I know I need all the help he can provide.

jerry48
jerry48

concerning NAPOLEON :

"The net effect of his policies, as a result, significantly changed the position of the Jews in Europe, and he was widely admired by the Jews as a result. Starting in 1806, Napoleon passed a number of measures supporting the position of the Jews in the French Empire, including assembling a representative group elected by the Jewish community, the Sanhedrin. In conquered countries, he abolished laws restricting Jews to ghettos. In 1807, he made Judaism, along with Roman Catholicism and Lutheran and Calvinist Protestantism, official religions of France."

not bad for a dictator ! nice try HOWARD, but I don't think he deserves to be put side by side with HITLER and STALIN !

ScottWestgard
ScottWestgard

May he die soon. And burn in hell for the atrocities he has committed while on earth/

ZachBashevis
ZachBashevis

as Diane responded I am in shock that a student can earn $8285 in 4 weeks on the computer. did you read this web link... Buzz75.ℂom

jdyer2
jdyer2

I left the church several years ago due to its treatment of gays.  I don't suspect much is going to change.

JohnMcCarthy
JohnMcCarthy

Great article, thanks.  Although I wish that Francis were from the more left wing of the Jesuits than one if its Conservative members, I believe that humility is such a rare characteristic today that many don't appreciate its strength and it will serve him well.  As for his keeping somewhat distant from the Dirty War, is that not what Jesus did with respect to the Romans who ruled the Jewish people at that time?

BalakrishnanGurumurti
BalakrishnanGurumurti

true sir. All said and done frugality of pope generate frugal perception in cardinals down is a natural corollary. Immediately it is cost cutting effort well  done by Pope Francis I and prune the resources of Vatican. Besides, that pope's  yesterday's asking for peoples' blessings will augment  it by liberal donations donations to spruce up Vatican finances by leaps and bounds. people by nature look for one who is very humble top man today in every area of establishment as illogical taxing affects the boat of life of man by violent rocking and drifts its course every day. people really not much appreciate any flamboyance and ego centric heady headedness is the modern need after sub prime serious hits on all economies except a few who continue to float in imagination of heavy consumption just to help rich to become much  more richer that none accepts as problems are acute and very chronic in today's 21st century new economics which Pope Francis I fully understood as a peoples man that is the boon to Vatican besides controlled running riot syndrome in social perceptions need to be in place lest people do not become prodigals as the very church will fetter its own flamboyance of late indulged in their social intercourse besides the age old flamboyance of offices will be the best new papy-cracy on Vatican will be the best injection of transcendalism in thought of very church by right orientations that is what is well tried and motivated when new Pope shunned the use of Vatican One Limo and he chose to drive in cardinals' van that kind is a good example that need to be followed by all governments all over the world as politicians outlive the tax income and imposing all kinds of surges in tax administration instead of pruning the prodigal life hitherto followed is still continued. Pope did set wonderful exemplary example as the eye opener as Mahatma Gandhi in India said  that one should set an example if one wants to prun anything and such perception seems deep rooted in the new Pope Francis I. i  wish himmany more glorious years of setting examples to make people walk on their own feet lest there is economic disater to people at large.        

alexvallas6
alexvallas6

Well, if he can unite the Church, maybe we can get him to tell the Dems and Republicans how it is done.

Fla4Me
Fla4Me

I just hope he turns out to have a clean background.  I don't want to find out that he did nothing while the Argentine government tortured and killed people they didn't like.

lordofthefly
lordofthefly

We're being poped to death. Media grab on to a semi-story and can't let it go. Come back to us about this man in a couple of years and let us know if he has made improvements in the church. Otherwise, enough.

Galen
Galen

@jofishy 

Agreement! Its insane zealotry, much like conservatism... ego.

Galen
Galen

@suzyroger7 

Keep drinking the do; you, your church and this pope need many prayers, and hopefully your souls will be healed. Your blind zealotry is meaningless, only in your small mind does it have any effect, and good luck with that!!

suzyroger7
suzyroger7

@ScottWestgard


Liberals are obsessed with ancient claims of sex abuse in the Catholic church in the same way that Republicans were fixated about perjury in a civil case in the impeachment proceedings of Bill Clinton.

It's hilarious.

Go here to learn the hidden agenda behind  the liberal media's campaign of exaggeration, bias and misinformation about the Catholic church and old claims of sex abuse.

     http://www.themediareport.com/

Stop the bias!  Stop the lies!  Tell the truth! 

Stand up and speak truth to the power of Big Media!

jerry48
jerry48

@ScottWestgard in that case many should go and burn in hell ! the place is gonna be packed !

KountyKobbler
KountyKobbler

@alexvallas6 That and get  some Catholic followers of Ayn Rand  to return to a God based  and Human based view not a dollar saved is not spent to save life with necessity to survive  be it food shelter or health care.  Or excommunicate those that fail to follow  the path of charity first  Self Last  in importance.

AdrianaVerónicaGrosskreutz
AdrianaVerónicaGrosskreutz

What you say is an invention of the Argentine Government. Bergoglio disagreed with the direction of the government of Cristina Kirchner while he was cardinal of Buenos Aires. My president was not pleased that his opponent church is now Pope, but to not lose more voters will go to the Vatican. Incredible because recently she was not with him anymore. There are many things that the world does not know we have the president says one thing and does another.

alexvallas6
alexvallas6

@Fla4Me Actually, there are people who are already accusing him of being complacent and possibly involved.

DaringDo
DaringDo

@Galen @suzyroger7 Forgive them, for they know not what they say. Years of indoctrination necessary to have that viewpoint cannot be dissolved by harsh words. You're only reinforcing their belief that the secular world is harsh and hateful. Mostly true, but kindness in all places is often overlooked.

jofishy
jofishy

@suzyroger7 @ScottWestgard   REALLY?  I have known 3 kids growing up that got abused by priests personally...so why don't you take a pill and sit down...Liberal media biased...come on.

ScottWestgard
ScottWestgard

@jerry48 @ScottWestgard  Jerry- there is no greater atrocity than deliberately committing heinous sexual acts against children, and then covering them up. 

And I take that back--burning in hell for eternity is FAR too good for this man, or any high ranking, prada-wearing member of the clergy. I am sure Satan himself has a special place for their ilk, and JohnPau II  is likely discovering just what that is. He prays to deaf ears, and suffers for his crimes, FOREVER. THe kindest thing these men will find will be their treatment in the prisons once they set foot from the country of the Vatican. 

Higg's_Bosom
Higg's_Bosom

@KountyKobbler

Not that I care about Ayn Rand, but I'm sure you'll agree he'll need to be excommunicating those who refuse to follow the moral teachings of the Church, if we're excommunicating for not following social suggestions?

BrendaOldenburg
BrendaOldenburg

@alexvallas6 The person who originally accused Pope Francis of such travesty, Horacio Verbitsky, is a former guerrilla fighter who was part of a terrorist group that killed women and children indiscriminately. Furthermore, it has been 10 years since that accusation and so far no one has managed to prove his involvement.

todosur
todosur

@alexvallas6 now that's totally absurd, please, stop inventing lies! he is a good man

Galen
Galen

@DaringDo @Galen @suzyroger7 

You are welcome to your perception of what is harsh and what is love. My post is no harsher or hateful then yours, but I thank you for that. The world is or can be harsh, it is what we make it in the `end. Truth, of what you call mostly (again your perception), should be straightforward and sometimes aggressively, of which I call tough love. Thanks for your response.

bpshand
bpshand

@ jofishy I will add my anecdotal information to this abuse issue: I went to Catholic school from 2nd grade to 12th. No hint whatsoever of such things going on and no discussions about same among my peers. This was in the 60s and 70s though so maybe sexual abuse hadn't been discovered yet.

Piacevole
Piacevole

@bpshand There's an interesting book called, "Vow of Silence," (by Jason Berry) and an HBO special called "Mea Maxima Culpa."  Both involve the problems with pedophilia; neither is truly exhaustive.  Both cite situations and victims, mention settlements, and so forth.

It sometimes  happens that there are unfounded claims of pedophilia, but it is very rare, and compared with the number of times real assaults are never reported, miniscule.  I also did 11 years in a parochial school and was never, myself, aware of any such problems.  

That said, I know of another problem with a sexual situation involving a pastor who came to grief with an adult woman.  He was diverting church funds to her support, and as soon as the archbishop winded that, he was removed: much faster and more thoroughly than the child-abusing priests were.

bpshand
bpshand

@Placevole I think it's overstated to say that "it's not as if anybody is making anything up". We know about bogus sexual abuse cases outside the church - McMartin preschool for one. We know that there are gold-diggers and seekers of deep pockets. We know that media loves a juicy scandal. I'm not saying it's all bogus. I'm saying we don't really know. My 11 years in Catholic schools with nary a hint of impropriety for myself or among my peers make me skeptical. My case is anecdotal, of course.

Piacevole
Piacevole

@suzyroger7 @ScottWestgard @cjones1 What "exaggeration?"  If anything, the scope of the abuse problem has yet to be revealed.

It's not as if anybody is making anything up.  What is happening much more is the attempt to occlude the situation from public knowledge.


Piacevole
Piacevole

@cjones1 The "but others do it!" defense is not valid in the face of the Church's claim to have been founded by and guided by God directly.


Higher standards and expectations should apply there.  Or, of course, they could simply forego their claim.

suzyroger7
suzyroger7

@ScottWestgard@cjones1 

 
Liberals are obsessed with ancient claims of sex abuse in the Catholic church in the same way that Republicans were fixated about perjury in a civil case in the impeachment proceedings of Bill Clinton.

It's hilarious.

Go here to learn the hidden agenda behind  the liberal media's campaign of exaggeration, bias and misinformation about the Catholic church and old claims of sex abuse.

     http://www.themediareport.com/

Stop the bias!  Stop the lies!  Tell the truth! 

Stand up and speak truth to the power of Big Media!

jerry48
jerry48

@ScottWestgard I agree with you but then don't forget the hundreds if not thousands of sex abuses among the boys scouts of America ! and all the different sects of weirdos ! these guys will have to go burn in Hell too, along with those who covered them up ! (and still do ! )

ScottWestgard
ScottWestgard

@cjones1 Most certainly these person's are generally held accountable!! They are arrested, tried and jailed for their atrocities. The difference between the Catholic church is they are NOT a church, but a country and a head of state. They are a city of cowards who refuse to stand in world courts to face their crimes. These pedophiles are instead, tucked away (knowingly, as evidenced by leaked Vatican documents) by the church, but their crimes are not made aware to the new congregations, where these "priests" continue to rape and molest children.  

Funny story of Marshall Law- about a year and a half ago, maybe two years ago, a man who'd been molested by a Catholic priest who sat before him appeared to be getting just a slap on the wrist because the judge was himself a "Catholic". 

Outside the courtroom, the man shot and killed the priest in the head, to the shock of many, including TV crews. However, due to the repeated nature and psychological abuse (and a non Catholic judge and jury)- this man was set free and faced no criminal charges for murder or manslaughter. That in itself should be telling of how far the Catholic Church has strayed. 

But hey, it's a mostly free country- if you want to defend pedophiliac priests in order to hold onto your dying faith- go right ahead. Polls show the Catholic Church i its current incarnation will cease to exist as a religion of any power in the next 3 generations. If they do not change their ways and atone for their scape-goating of women, gays and lesbians, and attempt to right the centuries of wrongs committed by the pedophiliac priests, the holy wars they started, the inquisition, and so on and so forth. Catholicism is scapegoating and war-mongering, not love of Christ. Those who claim otherwise are feeding you lies just as Satan did to Jesus. Only problem is- these guys in their fancy robes are listening, and worst yet, they likely d not have any faith to being with. 

If the new Pope really wants to atone- he should take a page from past popes who believed  in self-punishment, and set fire to himself in a public display, in an attempt to begin clearing the church of their past atrocities. But as we already know- todays red hats and popes are cowards to the highest order. They are war criminals, and are limited in the number of countries they can travel without fear of arrest and prosecution. I pray that one day he slips up and the Pope himself will stand trial.

cjones1
cjones1

@ScottWestgard @jerry48 reprehensible behaviour has occurred in the schools, camps, etc. Do we see the same kind of hate directed against Dept. Of Education officials of the NEA leadership for ineptly handling child abuse cases by shuffling perpetrators or relying on psychiatric authorities who declare successful treatment. The first cases of abuse I knew of were committed by a Baptist youth leades, chool teacher