Thursday, March 14, 2013

Long live Pope Francis!

Could I have picked a more eventful week to go on vacay?!?

No worries -- I've been keeping up with everything from Disney World, and my good buddy Skip gave me a blow-by-blow account of the papal announcement yesterday over the phone that went something like this:

Skip: "Okay, they just announced it: His name is Jorge something... Jorge Bergoglio?"
Me: "Who?"
Skip: "I think they just said Jorge Bergoglio... Yep. He's from Argentina?"
Me: "Oh. Wow..."
Skip: "I think they said he's a Jesuit."
Me: "Really?!? Wow... Have they announced his new name yet? That's pretty important... to get a feel for his philosophy..."
Skip: "Not yet... oh here it is... Francis?"
Me: "Francis?!?"
Skip: "Francis. Pope Francis."
Me: "Wow. I think that's a first."

And it is. In lots and lots of ways. 

Pope Francis is the first pope from Latin America. And the first pope from outside Europe in over 1,300 years. He's also the first Jesuit pope. Ever. 

Known for his humility, the former cardinal was known to prefer Buenos Aires' public transportation over the chauffeured limo used by his predecessors there. He also chose to live not in the episcopal palace in Buenos Aires, but in a small efficiency apartment where he cooked his own meals. 

He also breaks with tradition with his choice of a papal name. He's the first pope to choose the name Francis, after the famed saint of Assisi. And by the way, it's just Pope Francis, not Francis I. The Vatican Press Office's Fr. Lombardi remarked to the Associated Press yesterday: "It will become Francis I after we have a Francis II."

Long live Pope Francis!