Thursday, March 14, 2013

Hail to the New Pope, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio!

Habemus Papam: Pope Francis...

White smoke billows from Sistine Chapel chimney

Bells rang as thousands cheered and waved flags in St Peter's Square as the smoke signalled the election of the new pontiff on Wednesday evening.

The breakthrough came after the second vote on the second day of the gathering of the cardinals in Rome.

Tradition dictates that the new leader of the world's Catholics should change into his papal white cassock as, one by one, the cardinals who elected him in the conclave approach him to swear their obedience.

He will stop and pray in the Pauline Chapel for a few minutes before emerging on the loggia of the balcony overlooking St. Peter's Square to reveal his identity to the world.

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio

Francis was born Jorge Mario Bergoglio[a] on December 17th, 1936 and was elected the pope of the Catholic Church on March 13th, 2013. He is the 266th pope. A native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, he was ordained as a priest in 1969. In 1998 he became the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, and in 2001 a cardinal. He is the first pope to chose "Francis" as his name. He is both the first Jesuit priest and the first native of the Americas to be elected Pope. He is also the first non-European pope since the 8th century.

Unlike other recent pontiffs -- John Paul II, Benedict XVI -- Pope Francis doesn't have a numeral after his name. That's because he's the first to assume the name Francis.

The Vatican clarified that his official papal name was Francis, not "Francis I." A Vatican spokesman said that the name would become Francis I if and when there is a Francis II.

Why Francis?

The pope wanted to honor St. Francis of Assisi, an admirer of nature and a servant to the poor and destitute.
St. Francis of Assisi was born the son of a rich cloth merchant. But he lived in rags among beggars at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.

Those close to Pope Francis see similarities between the two men.

"Francis of Assisi is ...someone who turned his back on the wealth of his family and the lifestyle he had, and bonded with lepers and the poor." said the Rev. Thomas Rosica, Vatican's deputy spokesman. "Here this is pope known for his care for AIDS patients and people who are very sick. Who is known for his concern with single mothers whose babies were refused to be baptized by priests in his diocese.

"He scolded those priests last year and said. 'How can you turn these people away when they belong to us?"

Why do popes change their real name when elected?

A pope does not have to change his name but most do. It is symbolic of Jesus changing the name of Simon to Peter at the time he named him as leader of his Church and the first pope.

No Pope is obligated to change his name. This is a pious tradition (not Sacred Tradition).

The practice arose when a pagan convert to Christianity became Pope and changed his name from Mercury (after the pagan Roman god) to John II in 533 C.E.

Until then, the Popes kept their original names, from Peter to Boniface II.

Between John II and Sergius IV in 1009 C.E. only a few Popes changed their names.

But since Sergius IV, it has been common practice for all Popes to change their name when elected pontiff except Adrian VI and Marcellus II.

Motto: Miserando atque eligendo ("With mercy and choosing")

Pope Francis, he's a pope of the people

In some ways, Pope Francis is just a normal guy.

"The new pope is a very humble man," said the Rev. Eduardo Mangiarotti, an Argentine priest. "He takes public transport every day."

In his first public act as pontiff, Pope Francis broke with tradition by asking the estimated 150,000 people packed into St. Peter's Square to pray for him, rather than him blessing the crowd first.

"He is a very simple man," said Luis R. Zarama, auxiliary bishop of Atlanta. "It's very clear from the way he approached the people and asked them to bless him and pray for him. It's a beautiful sign of closeness and humility."

The pontiff broke with another tradition by refusing to use a platform to elevate himself above the cardinals standing with him as he was introduced to the world as Pope Francis.

"He said I'll stay down here," said Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York and the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. "He met each of us on our own level."

Pope Francis also comes with a side of controversy

Francis opposes same-sex marriage and abortion, which isn't surprising as leader of the socially conservative Catholic church.

But as a cardinal, Francis clashed with the government of Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner over his opposition to gay marriage and free distribution of contraceptives.

His career as a priest in Argentina coincided with the so-called Dirty War -- and some say the church didn't do enough to confront the military dictatorship.

As many as 30,000 people died or disappeared during the seven-year period that began with a coup in 1976.

Francis, in particular, was accused in a complaint of complicity in the 1976 kidnapping of two liberal Jesuit priests, CNN Vatican analyst John Allen wrote in a profile published by the National Catholic Reporter. Francis denied the charge.

"The best evidence that I know of that this was all a lie and a series of salacious attacks was that Amnesty International who investigated that said that was all untrue," said Jim Nicholson, former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See. "These were unfair accusations of this fine priest."

Here is a transcript of his first words as pope as translated by Reuters from the Italian.

"Brothers and sisters good evening.
You all know that the duty of the Conclave was to give a bishop to Rome. It seems that my brother Cardinals have come almost to the ends of the earth to get him… but here we are. I thank you for the welcome that has come from the diocesan community of Rome.
First of all I would say a prayer pray for our Bishop Emeritus Benedict XVI.. Let us all pray together for him, that the Lord bless him and Our Lady protect him.
Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Glory to the Father…
And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood . My hope is that this journey of the Church that we begin today, together with help of my Cardinal Vicar, be fruitful for the evangelization of this beautiful city.
And now I would like to give the blessing, but first I want to ask you a favour. Before the bishop blesses the people I ask that you would pray to the Lord to bless me – the prayer of the people for their Bishop. Let us say this prayer – your prayer for me – in silence.
[The Protodeacon announced that all those who received the blessing, either in person or by radio, television or by the new means of communication receive the plenary indulgence in the form established by the Church. He prayed that Almighty God protect and guard the Pope so that he may lead the Church for many years to come, and that he would grant peace to the Church throughout the world.]
[Immediately afterwards Pope Francis gave his first blessing Urbi et Orbi – To the City and to the World.]
I will now give my blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will.
Brothers and sisters, I am leaving you. Thank you for your welcome. Pray for me and I will be with you again soon.
We will see one another soon.
Tomorrow I want to go to pray the Madonna, that she may protect Rome.
Good night and sleep well!"

~I read that Pope Francis is a humble man. Personally, I hope he is and that He lead this world into the gates of heaven with true and pure intentions.

God Bless Pope Francis! God Bless the World!



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