With those words, Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio, Cardinal-Archbishop of Buenos Aires, was introduced to the world as Pope Francis. Since he is the first to choose that name (in honor of my Confirmation saint, of course!), he will not be known as Francis I until there is a successor who takes the name.
Anyway, I am writing this because I had about twenty people ask me last night about my thoughts and were peppering me with questions about the election and the process. I figured I would organize them all here, so let us begin...
1) It is very interesting that they selected a Cardinal from South America. While I do believe that they pick the one who is most fit and best to lead the Church, I am sure it doesn't hurt in any fashion to pick a man from the new frontier of evangelization.
2) Pope Francis is the first Jesuit to be elected Pope. Granted, the Society of Jesus has been around for less than five-hundred years, but their influence has been felt during the time they have existed. I thought it was unusual that since the Jesuits have the "fourth vow" of obedience to the Pope, Cardinal Bergoglio might be obligated to turn down the election, but I have been since corrected by others who know more and better than I.
3) A lot has been made of the Pope's dedication to the poor and less fortunate and his humble life - which is good, wonderful, and Godly. However, as a Servant of God (now Servant of the Servants of God), it is part of his résumé, and it seems as if there is some media spin going on, as in they only want to focus on that particular aspect rather than parts that I am sure are going to disappoint them. For example, he said this concerning pro-abortion Catholic politicians:
We should commit ourselves to ‘eucharistic coherence,’ that is, we should be conscious that people cannot receive holy communion and at the same time act or speak against the commandments, in particular when abortion, euthanasia, and other serious crimes against life and family are facilitated. The responsibility applies particularly to legislators, governors and health professionals.
I haven't seen too many of the prelates in the United States who would have the courage to make this statement, since we are all busy "trying to get along". How long will it be before the media begins to lament Francis' "conservative" positions? Answer: not long at all.
4) I am glad the Conclave is over, so now we don't have to worry about insipid media coverage that either was a) agenda driven (zOMG, WE HOPE THE POPE WILL ALLOW FEMALE PRIESTS!!!), b) factually wrong (i.e getting basic principles of the Church incorrect), or c) using tired buzzwords like scandal, intrigue, or insiders. Note to the media, especially on Point B:
GOOGLE. IS. YOUR. FRIEND.
5) As I stated on Facebook earlier today, I wonder when the Usual Suspects (looking at you, New York Times, NatCat Reporter, and MSNBC) will begin noticing "hey, we have a Pope from Latin America, but he is still white!!" The horror that a white guy with an Italian surname from Argentina isn't going to change any liberal hobby horse might be too much for some of the journalists and talking heads at the aforementioned media outlets. Oh well. That is not my problem. I look forward to his leadership.