We may not each be called to the form of life that St. Francis chose. But the Lord does have something serious for each of us to do, and it is to be found by each of us hidden in our own hearts. Expect Pope Francis to call for this.
It feels once again that a pope is about to let fresh air run through every aspect of the Church. He may transform its grinding politics, financial imbroglios and leadership vacuum. He has the ability to deal directly with the serious sins of the recent past and clean house. Let the wind blow!
He has a debatable track record vis-à-vis the Argentine church's relationship with the junta in the 1970s Dirty War, which strained his relations with many liberal Jesuits worldwide. I don't like this story. What's really going on here?
Much has been said about Pope Francis being the first papal selection from the New World or the first to be selected from the ranks of the Jesuits, but most amazing to me is that he is the first to select the name of Francis.
It really is big news for Argentina. Jorge Bergoglio is very well known in a country where the proclamations of the Church and Bergoglio himself had for years been mistreated and neglected by the Kirchners.
If God is an Argentine, and if the Messiah is also from La Pampa, we are now being watched over by a Pope who hails from the Southern Cone. Jorge Ma...
We should applaud Pope Benedict for his decision. In resigning, and bucking an eons long tradition, he appears to be calling for sensible, unselfish and future-oriented leadership. In business, in athletics, in politics and more, we have seen too many examples to the contrary.
Here is a prayer -- St. Francis' prayer, the tradition says -- that helps to explain what the choice of the name Francis means.
Wounded by physical, psychological and spiritual assaults, they keep insisting that something is terribly wrong with an institution that pays millions in attorneys fee to keep secret its conspiracy to hide the facts and help clergy avoid prosecution.
What may matter more than the new pope's nationality is his commitment to allowing the growth of lay leadership and culturally sensitive worship that is at the heart of the success of the Pentecostal movement.
While these are enormous challenges for Pope Francis, the grace of God is sufficient for faithful church leaders to lead. And Jorge Bergoglio is said to be such a man of God -- fervent in personal faith and consistent prayer.
The Cardinals understood that they needed a pope who is close to the less fortunate, and far from the ostentation and intrigue of the palazzo. And that's who they've chosen.
An event like this only comes around every few decades, so it's a big news week for the Vatican's biggest -- and only -- gossip rag, Papal Magazine. Check out some of the highlights.
Maybe the new pope will realize that to be universal, the church needs to embrace differences and expand love rather than embracing limiting and separatist beliefs.
Today was probably the first -- and last -- time someone who is both Muslim and gay will be the one to bring Catholic priests news of a new Pope.
When so much about the Catholic Church seems both antiquated and sick at this moment, like a building whose foundation is crumbling, maybe it needs to come down and be rebuilt differently.