|Pope Benedictus XVI (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Yesterday, Wednesday March 13, 2013, 5 minutes past seven white smoke came out of the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, where many eyes of the world looked at. One hour later came the oldest deacon to say "Abemus Papam".
On the fifth ballot enough cardinals chose for one man to take over the duties of the retired pope Ratzinger.. The Jesuit Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, took on the duty and to my mind it was the first of contemporary popes who asked the people to pray for his duties.
|Cardinal Jorge M. Bergoglio SJ, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, celebrating mass at the XX Exposición del Libro Católico (20th Catholic Book Fair), in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Coming from the Latin world which was considered a few years ago to be too rebellious this man is fully aware of the poverty of that part of the world and as such his choice of the name Franciscus (Francis), evoking the Saint of Assisi and his commitment to the poor, may be a sign of his program. It’s been more than 500 years since the first evangelization in the Latin New World, and it became high time that the Roman Catholic church showed the world that it is really a world church and not an Italian bastion.
Pope Francis, the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church, is seventy-six and was born to Italian immigrant parents and was raised in the Argentine capital. He reportedly came in second when Benedict XVI was elected. He was born in Buenos Aires, in 1936. He is the first ever from what old Popes call the New World.
President Obama was among the first world leaders to congratulate Francis in a message that emphasized the pope’s humble roots and New World background.
“As a champion of the poor and the most vulnerable among us, he carries forth the message of love and compassion that has inspired the world for more than 2,000 years — that in each other we see the face of God,” Mr. Obama said in a message released by the White House.
“As the first pope from the Americas,” the president added, “his selection also speaks to the strength and vitality of a region that is increasingly shaping our world, and alongside millions of Hispanic Americans, those of us in the United States share the joy of this historic day.”