Skip to comments.Who is Pope Francis? A compilation from many news reports.
Posted on 03/15/2013 8:42:46 PM PDT by dangus
I compiled this for a friend to pass on to her family, comprised of mostly fallen-away Catholics. She implored me to share it so others could pass it on.
Pope Francis is both an Italian, and from Latin America. He combines the intellectual training of the Jesuits with the soul of a Franciscan. As archbishop of Argentina's most important diocese, he could have lived in a mansion on the cathedral's grounds; instead, he lived in a flat in an apartment building miles away, sharing his home with an elderly, crippled Jesuit. He rode the busses and subways to work, dressing as an ordinary priest, and insisting he be called, "Father Jorge," rather than "Bishop Bergoglio" or, later, "Cardinal Bergoglio."
He chose the name of Francis after St. Francis of Assissi, who was so renowned for his spiritual humility, and who was commanded by Christ in a vision, "Rebuild my church."
On reluctantly becoming pope, he packed his own bags, paid for his own room, refused the pope-mobile (created to keep John Paul II safe from snipers), and took the bus with the rest of the cardinals. He would refused to war the papal crown or robe. Before blessing the crowd, he pled, "My brothers and sisters, pray for me." The next morning, he snuck out to pray in one of the parish churches of Rome to pray.
As a child, his father worked building the railroad. At 12, Jorge asked his girlfriend's hand in marriage when they were old enough. As a teenager, he suffered a bad infection, and lost one of his lungs. He earned a Master's degree in Chemical Engineering before deciding to join the Jesuits in 1958.
While still in priestly formation, he taught lit and psych in a high school and then college. Only ordained in 1967, by 1969 he was novice master, and professor of theology. In just four more years, he was appointed Provincial (head of Jesuits) in Argentina.
After a 1976 military coup, he condemned extremists and killers on both sides, but the anti-clerical left had continually accused him of aligning himself with the right because he had ordered his priests not to abandon their parishes to fight among the communists.
In 1992, he was appointed bishop, an unusual move for a member of religious order. (It's rather like a union boss taking a job with management.). IN 1998, he was made archbishop of Buenos Aires AND bishop of Eastern-rite Catholics in Argentina.
In 2005, he reported finished 2nd to Benedict XVI in the papal election. His chances were hurt when he was falsely accused of being an accomplice to the rightist governments' kidnapping of two Jesuits. In fact, he risked his safely to secretly meet to secure their release. He also used the seminary to protect victims of the Junta.
He spends countless hours in AIDS clinics and among the homeless, famously washing their feet during Holy Thursday masses, and made appeals to citizens of all political stripes to eschew materialism. He forcefully upholds Christian moral teachings, but despises hypocrisy; For instance: "In our ecclesiastical region there are priests who dont baptize the children of single mothers because they werent conceived in the sanctity of marriage. These are todays hypocrites Those who separate the people of God from salvation. And this poor girl who, rather than returning the child to sender, had the courage to carry it into the world, must wander from parish to parish so that its baptized!"
He is no statist or leftist, however. During the economic crisis, he preached, "the challenge to eradicate poverty can not be truthfully met as long as the poor continue to be dependents of the State. The government and other organizations should instead work to create the social conditions that will promote and protect the rights of the poor and enable them to be the builders of their own future, he explained."
Good of you to compose this for your friend. I hope some of her family members (heck, ALL of them!) return to the Church.
This writeup is like Pope Francis never heard of St Francis of Xavier. Just a review of the record and life of St. Xavier will show he was a Jesuit (helped found the Order) and after European service, including I think sojourn to the Vatican, lived a life of pastoral shepherding of poor and those in need very much like Pope Francis in the Southern Hemisphere. I suspect that the Catholic church in the Southern Hemisphere to which St. Francis Xavier was a prominent if not dominant member of was very well known about by Pope Francis who was of the Southern Hemisphere Jesuit order. Whether either St Francis of Assisi or St Francis of Xavier were more influential in the work/life of Pope Francis is a question in my mind.
According to Vatican deputy English-language spokesman Thomas Rosica, Pope Francis chose the name after St. Francis of Assissi.
I am not Catholic but the more I learn of this man the more I like him.
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