This story, one which has largely been overlooked in all current reporting, stretches back well into the past. Indeed, we need to reach back 737 years, to 1276, for the events in question.
We can only guess at the motivation of Pope Francis while he was Jesuit provincial during the years of the junta. Maybe be believed open confrontation would make things worse.
I might not believe in God, but I believe that Catholics and atheists can work together just as all of humanity can work together towards equality and justice when we put the needs of modern people first and the arcane doctrine second.
Most of us don't choose our names. Unless you're P.Diddy, then you get a new one every two years when you re-up your cellphone contract. The names choose us, or are chosen for us.
Francis is the pope, not a politician. Applying a political framework to interpret his actions is like following a baseball game with a football manual.
In Pope Francis' brief homily for the inaugural Mass of his papal ministry, he emphasized something that should be familiar to American Catholics who have seen a certain motto sometimes displayed on police cars.
Many Catholics are hopeful the new pope will initiate needed change in their Church. There are some early signs that his papacy might be different. But it remains to be seen whether Pope Francis will be a proponent of change or an opponent to it.
In my reading this week I came across a fascinating story about St. Francis that speaks deeply to that last commitment to work toward the repair of an ailing church. This story is a challenge for us all.
Imagine what could happen if Pope Francis truly follows in the footsteps of his namesake. Imagine a more peaceful world that respects religious difference. I believe it can happen.
In a moment of silence at St. Peter's, we saw something we don't see much on the world stage: authentic humility. That's the essence of our faith, and that's what will renew our Church.
When the new pope supports the freedom and equality of all people regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and when he shows the world that he has the courage to expose and prosecute every child-raping priest in the Catholic Church, I'll have some respect for him.
On the night of his election, as Francis bowed before the multitudes, the world fell silent for a few moments, as if to catch our collective breath for what is already proving to be a ground-breaking moment in the Church's long history.
Until a week ago, there had not been a pope who also belonged to a religious order in more than a century and a half. No Jesuit had ever been elected pontiff. I had thought this would never happen, in part because Jesuits make a promise not to seek ecclesiastical offices.
Between losses to charismatic Protestantism and a growing number of the religiously unaffiliated, especially among the region's impoverished youth, Catholicism in Latin America finds itself at a critical juncture. New Evangelization will thus most likely become the focal point of Pope Francis' papacy.
In accepting the papacy, Pope Francis now is shrouded in the protection of the church's political vestments. As representatives of an interreligious university, we trust that Pope Francis will wisely recognize the transparency of his new clothes and hew to the naked simplicity of his namesake's example.
We pray with DignityUSA, with Mary Hunt, and with all those who pray that the Pope lives up to the Roman Catholic Church's stand on human rights and dignity for all people.