By Dale Lucht
As we put this magazine together, I get to reflect on the new pope. Bear in mind this is coming from a non-Catholic. I have a new grand-daughter that was recently baptized into the Catholic Church, so that gives me authority to comment on this religion.
The rumors were that the church had so many problems that Pope Benedict XVI decided that he did not have the energy to deal with the pedophile scandals and the Vatican Bank scandals. He, the Pope, decided to resign and let someone else deal with those problems.
It seemed to me that the news channels spent a lot of time on the succession of the new pope. Many theories and opinions were voiced by commentators. And then today the new pope was named . . . Pope Francis I.
What do we know about him? He was Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, an Argentinian of Italian descent. The news mentioned that he lived in a flat in Buenos Aires and used public transportation, that is all about to change.
What struck me as I sat watching the coverage was the tens of thousands of people filling St. Peter’s Square. All wishing for white smoke. When it came a roar went up from the crowd.
When Pope Francis I came out he looked strong and youthful, which is surprising since he’s 76. Compared to how frail Benedict was, it was a welcome change.
The commentators said that Cardinal Bergoglio was a man of the people and cared deeply for the sick and downtrodden. He’s also disturbed by the unequal distribution of wealth in the world. Another good thing is that he’s a Jesuit, which is The Teaching brotherhood. His degree was in chemistry. So hopefully Pope Francis I believes in science. (We have some republicans in the U.S. who don’t.)
The new Pope has many problems ahead of him, will he have the will and inclination to tackle them? Or will his age of 76 be a hindrance? Do we have to wait for the next pope to face those problems? If Pope Francis I doesn’t attack these problems, will there be a church for Francis’ successor to lead?