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White smoke signals 1.2 billion Catholics have a new leader

Posted in Uncategorized by com360bu on March 25, 2013
Tags: , , , , , , ,

History was made on Wednesday. 1.2 billion Catholics have a new leader. Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected by his peers as the new pope. There are several things that are quite different about Bergoglio, one this is that he is the first pontiff from the Americas. Though he is from Argentina, he in fact of Italian decent—similar to 176 of 265 popes.

Bergoglio has spent nearly his entire career in his home country of Argentina, serving as the long-time archbishop of Buenos Aires—overseeing churches and shoe leather priests. He has chosen the name Francis. Symbolizing a connection to the 13th century saint who saw his mission as a trying to rebuild the church in a time of hardship. Francis of Assisi is associated with peace, poverty, and simplicity. All things Bergoglio is striving for in his time as pontiff.

In a lifetime of teaching priests in Latin America, which happens to hold the largest share of the world’s Catholics, Francis has been know for renovating an Argentine church, that had been among the most conservative in Latin America.

The Cardinal-electors have recognized their entity in the universal church by installing the first pope from Latin America. Their reasoning falls on the possible ability to offer salvation to all who follow its teaching, despite how long ago their home country were introduced into the Church.

As archbishop, Bergoglio created a reputation for himself as a modest leader who cared about the turmoil which surrounded him. He continuously reminded his Latin American bishops, while their church is thriving, they must also care for those who are not doing as well.

Where can change be expected during the reign of Francis? His famous refusal to live in the archbishop’s palace, his insistence to cook for himself, riding public transportation, can all be indicators of what may be a long overdue renovation of the Church’s “de facto government.”

Many things need to be changed throughout the Catholic Church. The Vatican bank cannot continue to spend like the rest of Europe. The church cannot manage to brush aside scandals like the sexual abuse of innocent victims by its clergymen.

Despite his Italian heritage, Francis is an outsider that may not be scared to make bold steps to quickly and efficiently clean house in the Vatican. It should be no surprise the announcement of a number of sudden resignations and new appointments.

Notably, this Argentine bred pope has a new opportunity and platform—Francis will have the chance to tell Catholics all over the globe that we are all in this together and to live by the words of God, to help when others are in need. Francis is the real world life view that the Church needs. Hopefully he will be able to bring out the Catholic’s integrity to solve their worldwide distress

This post was written as if it could appear on politico.com.

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