@walnutgirl: That’s interesting. I researched Cardinal Bergoglio’s past public statements and actions and found quite a few instances that impressed me. For example, he publicly chastised clergy in Latin America who refused to baptise the babies of unwed mothers. That might seem like a no-brainer in the U.S., but that’s a huge stand to take in Latin America.
Also, being a Jesuit, he has been committed to living a simple lifestyle and serving the poor. He refused to use the limousine issued to him, instead he used the bus or rode a bike. He lived in a small apartment and cooked his own meals, refusing to live in the lavish mansion his predecessors had used. His actions throughout his life speak so much louder than his words.
His actions and positions during Argentina’s Dirty War are up for debate. However, two of the most outspoken and liberal reformers in the Church and Latin America have come out 100% in support of his actions during this time. Basically, if anyone was to come out and not be afraid to call out the new Pope, it would be these guys. So that’s pretty telling.
Lastly, he chose the name Francis. For those of us in the Church who live out our faith by serving others and seeking social justice, this is huge. And when he emerged from the curtains onto the balcony, he wore the most simple white robes and a simple wooden cross. What a statement! Recall previous popes in all their lavish robes and ornate, gold crosses. T
Also, he asked the people to pray for HIM first! Clearly, he values the strength of people of the Church in equal or more value than himself.
It remains to be seen how Pope Francis’ actions will come to fruition and if he will seize this once in a generation chance to completely revivie the mission of the Church. I am very hopeful!!
Are you talking about Bergoglio’s opposition to same-sex marriage becoming legal in Argentina? That made my stomach turn, but I would never expect a cardinal to come out in favor of same-sex unions. Not in this lifetime, anyway. I think the most we can ask for from them is for them to focus on much more pressing issues that affect ALL people. Poverty, joblessness, lack of faith, sickness, and SERVICE!
If the Church gets away from putting so much emphasis on same-sex marriage and abortion and instead chooses to prioritize the gospel much differently, I’ll be quite pleased.
So yeah, I’m excited and hopeful 😉