Just over a month after the Pope’s resignation and my very first blog post, the story finally comes to a close with the election of Pope Francis I. After reading about his background in Argentina and seeing his humble and endearing nature during yesterday’s ceremonies, I must say that I personally am impressed with the choice made.
Personally, I absolutely love the fact that he chose the name Francis after the good ol’ St. Francis of Assisi. Now I may seem a little bias because I attend a Franciscan university, but it really speaks to the character of the Pope as well as his intentions for his papacy. For those of you unfamiliar with Francis, not only was he the first person to have an interfaith dialogue (which I briefly discussed in a different post), but he dedicated his life to serving the poor and ill as well as completely reformed the way people see the church through his radical lifestyle and practices. Francis didn’t just talk the talk, he walked the walk. (Usually barefoot, preaching love and the word of God through the streets.)
The fact that Pope Francis is known for his simple lifestyle as well as his compassion for the poor is a great sign for the direction of the Church. Also, since St. Francis is known as a reformer, one must wonder if this is part of the Pope’s intention for his papacy as well, to “rebuild the church.” Quite frankly, I think a little bit of change would be a good thing for the Church, especially regarding the grandiose nature of the Vatican. The simple living of Francis would be a breath of fresh air indeed.
Of course, this being an interfaith blog, I do also hope that Pope Francis emulates our dear saint in his interfaith work as well. I think that the new pope could mend a lot of wounds and build a lot of bridges between Catholics and other faiths. If such a strong leader like the Pope could do that, it would make cooperation that much more obtainable.
I have faith in Pope Francis, especially because of his unique nature and name. As the CNN article said, “The willingness by Francis to dispense with tradition was interpreted by a Vatican spokesman as a sign he will be willing to chart his own path in other ways.”
I like the sound of that.