Pope Francis, elected on Wednesday, 13 March 2013:
By Eun Kyung Kim, TODAY contributor
The humility of Pope Francis became evident moments after he was elected when he greeted his fellow cardinals “as brothers.”
While the rest of the world may have been surprised by the pope’s age and ethnicity when he first appeared to the world, the conclave of 115 cardinals knew they had chosen someone different than his predecessors.
“We cardinals noticed some things immediately that he was doing differently,” Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, said Thursday on TODAY.
Pope Francis shunned protocol that called for him to greet the cardinals while sitting in a white chair on an elevated platform.
“When the MC said, ‘Holy Father, up here,’ he said, ‘No, I’m standing down here,’” said Dolan, who also heads the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “So he greeted each of us as brothers, literally on the same level as we were.”
Dolan also noted that Francis declined a chauffeured limousine that was prepared to take him back to the group’s accommodations for the evening.
“He got back on the bus with us, like he had been doing for the whole conclave,” he said. “Those are little signs that send signals.”
The former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, born in Buenos Aires to Italian immigrants, studied to be a chemist but instead turned to priesthood in 1969. He eventually emerged as a champion for the poor, eschewing all luxuries he could have enjoyed when he became archbishop of Buenos Aires. His papal name honors St. Francis of Assisi, the man who abandoned a wealthy lifestyle to live a life of poverty.
In 2005, Bergoglio was widely believed to have come in second to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now the pope emeritus, to succeed Pope John Paul II.
“This is a man of dynamic orthodoxy, genuine missionary fervor. He could be very appealing to young people,” said George Weigel, a frequent commentator on Catholicism and a biographer of Pope John Paul II. “This is a man who knows that there’s a lot that needs fixing in the central machinery of the church here in Rome, and I think he will go about fixing it very quickly.”
Dolan said it quickly became clear among his fellow cardinals that Bergoglio was the candidate they wanted for pope. He had a track record of “sound, effective pastoral governance,” was familiar with several languages, and was known for his work with the poor.
“The more we got to listen to him, to know him, to hear our brother cardinals speak about him, it was pretty clear that’s where the Holy Spirit was leading us,” Dolan said.
Another sign of the pontiff’s humility emerged early Thursday, his first day as pope, when Francis slipped quietly inside an ancient Roman basilica to pray for guidance.
Dolan, who had been considered a strong American candidate for pope, said he wasn’t disappointed by the results.
“I had relief because we got a pope and a darn good one,” he said. “The chair of St. Peter was empty, and now it is full again and that gives us hope, that gives us renewal. That’s the real relief I sensed last night.”
Another person expressing relief that Dolan wasn’t elected pope was his mother, Shirley Dolan, according to an interview she conducted with NBC affiliate KSDK in St. Louis, Mo.
“It’s not that he wouldn’t have been good for the church. I know he would have, and he would have done a great job, but I want him here,” she said.
10 things you’ll want to know about Pope Francis
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected as the new pope on Tuesday, taking the name Francis. The 76-year-old son of an Italian immigrant railway worker was the archbishop of Buenos Aires before being selected the 266th pope. So, what’s the new pontiff’s story? Here are 10 things to know about the new head of the Catholic Church.
1. He is the first pope from Argentina, the Americas and the Southern Hemisphere. He is the first Francis, as well as the first Jesuit pontiff.
2. Francis is the first non-European pope since Gregory III, who was born in modern-day Syria, was elected in 731.
3. He has one lung. He had an infection as a teenager, and had one removed.
4. During the last conclave in 2005, he was reportedly the runner-up to the man he is now succeeding, Benedict XVI.
5. The new pope is known for his humble lifestyle. As archbishop of Buenos Aires, he cooked his own meals and rode the bus instead of taking a limo. He also regularly visited the slums outside the city.
6. In 2005, a human rights lawyer filed a complaint alleging Bergoglio was complicit in the 1976 kidnapping of two liberal Jesuit priests by Argentina’s military junta. He flatly denies the charge.
7. He studied philosophy at the Colegio Máximo San José and went on to teach literature and psychology at the Colegio de la Inmaculada in Santa Fe, and the Colegio del Salvador in Buenos Aires
8. Pope Francis is renowned for his 2001 visit to a hospice, where he kissed and washed the feet of AIDS patients.
9. He is a trained chemist.
10. He is fluent in Spanish, Italian and German.
Impromptu appearance, off-the-cuff address:
Pope’s Sunday surprises delight
By Frances D’Emilio, The Associated Press
A crowd of more than 150,000 people roared in delight as Pope Francis made the first Sunday window appearance of his papacy in St. Peter’s Square.
Breaking with tradition, Francis delivered off-the-cuff remarks, about God’s power to forgive, instead of reading from a written speech.
He also spoke only in Italian — beginning with “buon giorno” (Good day) and ending with “buon pranzo” (Have a good lunch) — instead of greeting the faithful in several languages as recent predecessors had done.
In just five days, Francis’ straightforward, spontaneous style has become immediate hallmark of his papacy.
Earlier, he began his first Sunday as pontiff by making an impromptu appearance to the public from a side gate of the Vatican, startling passersby and prompting cheers, then kept up his simple, spontaneous style by delivering a brief, unscripted homily at the Vatican’s tiny parish church.
Dressed only in white cassock, Francis waved to the crowd in the street outside St. Anna’s Gate and before entering the church, which serves Vatican City State’s hundreds of residents, he shook hands of the parishioners and kissed babies.
In keeping with his informal style, Francis then went over to the chief of his security detail and appeared to indicate he wanted to greet two priests in the crowd, who approached and embraced him.
The impromptu appearance came more than two hours ahead of his first appointment of his papacy with the faithful from his studio window overlooking St. Peter’s Square.
Benedict XVI gave his last window blessing on Sunday, Feb. 24. Four days later, Benedict went into retirement, the first pontiff to do so in 600 years.
Francis, the first Latin American pope, was elected on March 13.
Giant video screens were set up so that the overspill crowd could have a close-up look at Francis. Fifty medical teams were set up in case people fell or felt ill in the rush and crush to see Francis.
After the Mass, the pope stepped out jauntily from St. Anna’s Church and waved to a crowd of hundreds kept behind barriers across the street, and then greeted the Vatican parishioners one by one. One young man patted the pope on the back in an indication of the informality that from the first moment of his papacy has been evident.
“Francesco, Francesco,” children shouted his name in Italian from the street. As he patted one little boy on the head, he asked “Are you a good boy?” and the child nodded. “Are you sure?” the pope quipped.
In his homily, Francis spoke only five minutes, saying the core message of God is “that of mercy.” He said God has an unfathomable capacity to pardon, and noted that people are often harder on each other than God is towards sinners.
Pope Francis spoke of being ‘dazzled’ by girl, possible change of celibacy rule
Filippo Monteforte / AFP – Getty Images file
Priests and seminarians wave to Pope Francis during his inauguration mass at St Peter’s square on March 19. In an interview last year, he said he favored the church’s rule on celibacy but suggested it “can change.”
By Tracy Connor, Staff Writer, NBC News
Pope Francis suggested in an interview last year that the Catholic Church’s rule that priests be celibate “can change” and admitted he was tempted by a woman as a young seminarian.
He said that the married clergy of the Eastern churches are “very good priests” and those pushing for the same in Roman Catholicism do so “with a certain pragmatism.”
For now, though, “the discipline of celibacy stands firm,” he said, adding that priests should quit if they can’t abstain from sex or if they get a woman pregnant.
The former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio’s comments — published in the Spanish-language book “On the Heavens and the Earth” and translated by the Catholic news website Aleteia — were made when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires.
Father Thomas Reese, a Vatican analyst for the National Catholic Reporter, said he was surprised by the remarks because “the last few popes have been pretty clear they were not open to changing it or having a discussion about it.”
While Bergoglio certainly wasn’t advocating for a rule change, “it looks like he may be willing to talk about it,” Reese said.
The future pope began the conversation with an personal anecdote from his years as a seminarian.
“I was dazzled by a girl I met at an uncle’s wedding,” he said, according to Aleteia. “I was surprised by her beauty, her intellectual brilliance … and, well, I was bowled over for quite a while.
“I kept thinking and thinking about her. When I returned to the seminary after the wedding, I could not pray for over a week because when I tried to do so, the girl appeared in my head. I had to rethink what I was doing.”
He said he had to choose between the girl and the priesthood, and though he picked the latter, he knows not everyone would.
“When something like this happens to a seminarian, I help him go in peace to be a good Christian and not a bad priest,” Bergoglio said.
“In the Western Church to which I belong, priests cannot be married as in the Byzantine, Ukrainian, Russian or Greek Catholic Churches. In those Churches, the priests can be married, but the bishops have to be celibate. They are very good priests,” he added.
“In Western Catholicism, some organizations are pushing for more discussion about the issue. For now, the discipline of celibacy stands firm. Some say, with a certain pragmatism, that we are losing manpower. If, hypothetically, Western Catholicism were to review the issue of celibacy, I think it would do so for cultural reasons (as in the East), not so much as a universal option.”
He said that “for the moment” he was in favor of maintaining the celibacy rule “because we have ten centuries of good experiences rather than failures.”
But, he added, “It is a matter of discipline, not of faith. It can change.”
In the meantime, though, he said celibacy should not be treated with a wink and a nod. Any priest who strays and becomes a father “has to leave the ministry,” he said.
“Now, if a priest tells me he got excited and that he had a fall, I help him to get on track again. There are priests who get on track again and others who do not,” he said.
“The double life is no good for us. I don’t like it because it means building on falsehood. Sometimes I say: ‘If you can not overcome it, make your decision.’”
No More Pentecostal Popemobiles
24 Maret 2013
The election of the new pope is a prophetic slap in the face for our egotistical excess.
I’m not Catholic, and I’ve never completely understood Catholics’ preoccupation with Vatican politics. But I’ve been watching the Vatican closely since last week when Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina became the 266th pope and instantly got 2 million followers—and counting—on Twitter.
Why is this man so popular? That’s easy to understand. He’s humble. He cooks for himself. He chose to live in a small apartment in Buenos Aires instead of the archbishop’s palace. When he was the leader of Argentina’s Catholics, he took el micro—the city bus—to get around. He took the bus again after his election last week in Rome.
He even slipped out of the Vatican after his election to go and worship with the regular people—without security guards or the popemobile!
And Bergoglio, who will go by the name Pope Francis, is a staunch advocate of social justice. He reportedly asked his Argentinean colleagues to skip his inauguration in Rome and give the money they would have spent on airfare to the poor.
Have you noticed a contrast between Pope Francis’ simple lifestyle and the sickening excess that is on display among some of our Pentecostal/charismatic leaders?
I’ve pulled a lot of my hair out watching our embarrassing charismatic sideshows over the last few years. I think it is time we draw a line in the sand and say: “NO MORE.”
NO MORE BODYGUARDS. We have evangelists who send a small squadron of muscular thugs to “scout” the lobby of a hotel before they arrive. This is extremely odd when you realize that most of the people in said lobby have never even heard of the guy! Sorry, but I really don’t trust a man of God who claims he needs a bodyguard in church. Get down on the people’s level if you want to minister to them.
NO MORE $10,000 PER NIGHT HOTEL ROOMS. We have traveling preachers who book 10,000-square-ft. hotel rooms with private pools so they can rest on their way home from international trips. Excuse me? We could build an orphanage with the money this man wasted. (P.S. I know a good Hampton Inn where you can get a nice bed for $89 a night—and it includes a hot breakfast.)
NO MORE PRIVATE JETS. We have egomaniac ministers who insist on flying in private jets to speaking engagements, claiming that preachers who fly commercial aircraft have no faith. These same ministers will hand you a fuel bill for $25,000. That is sick, especially when you consider that Jesus rode a donkey when He was presented as the Messiah to Jerusalem. (Note to Rev. Bighead: You are not the president, and you do not need Air Force One.)
NO MORE CHARLATANS. We have slimy TV preachers who beg for dollars on Christian television stations, pocket a large amount of the take and then use some of the funds to install marble floors in their four-car garages. That’s worse than when medieval priests sold papal indulgences to get relatives out of purgatory.
NO MORE LIMOUSINES. I don’t believe ministers have to drive clunker cars. Higher-priced cars usually mean lower repair bills. But we have a problem when a visiting preacher refuses to be picked up at the airport in a church van, or when the pastor of a 100-member church insists he must ride in a neon yellow Ferrari. Get over yourself. Maybe you should learn from Pope Francis—and take the bus until your ego shrinks to a normal size.
Last week in this column I shared a dream in which I saw a tsunami crashing into the Vatican and turning the Catholic system upside down. When the new pope was elected, an Argentinean newspaper called him “Tsunami Bergoglio” because they expect him to reform the stuffy, prideful, bureaucratic Vatican and challenge Catholics to return to a humble focus on Christ.
We need the same drastic reforms on our side of the evangelical/Catholic divide. We need Pentecostal and charismatic leaders who shun the palace, reject lavish excess and get back to the basics of true gospel ministry.
J. Lee Grady is the former editor of Charisma and the director of The Mordecai Project(themordecaiproject.org). You can follow him on Twitter at leegrady. Click here to read his column from last week, in which he describes a dream he had about a coming reformation in the Catholic Church.
Ketika Paus Berhenti Berlangganan Surat Kabar
Paus Fransiskus. REUTERS/Tony Gentile
Minggu, 24 Maret 2013 | 19:44 WIB
TEMPO.CO, Vatikan – Paus Fransiskus I mengejutkan agen koran Buenos Aires ketika dia sendiri menelepon untuk berhenti berlangganan surat kabar. Pemimpin Gereja Katolik yang baru terpilih itu menelepon sang agen, Luis Del Regno dari Roma untuk menjelaskannya, ungkap kantor berita BBC.
Putra Del Regno, Daniel, pada awalnya menganggap telepon itu sebuah lelucon. Dia tak percaya saat menerima telepon dari seseorang yang mengaku bernama Kardinal Jorge Bergoglio, nama asli Paus.
“Serius, ini Jorge Bergoglio. Saya telepon kamu dari Roma,” kata sang Paus kepada Daniel yang masih tidak percaya.
“Saya terkejut, menangis dan tidak tahu mau berkata apa,” katanya kepada surat kabar Argentina La Nacion. “Dia berterima kasih kepada saya karena telah mengirim surat kabar selama ini dan menyampaikan salam kepada seluruh keluarga.”
“Saya bertanya kepadanya apakah akan ada kesempatan untuk bertemu lagi. Dia katakan untuk saat ini akan sulit, tapi dikatakan dia akan selalu bersama kami.”
Pope renders U.S. professor speechless by hugging his disabled son
Pope Francis is a hugger. And he’s continuing to touch his followers, both literally and figuratively, in ways his predecessor never did. His humanity and humility were again on display on Easter Sunday when, working the crowd in St. Peter’s Square from his popemobile, the pontiff reached out and embraced 8-year-old American Dominic Gondreau. The crowd lifted Dominic, who has cerebral palsy, out of his wheelchair, and Pope Francis kissed and blessed him, moving the boy’s parents to tears. Dominic’s father, Paul, a professor at Rhode Island’s Providence College who is currently teaching in Rome, called the encounter “incredibly moving.” His mom said it was “like a kiss from God.”