Lonesome Tree in Sandhills

Thursday, March 14, 2013

New Catholic Leader: Pope Francis

The new pope, calling himself Pope Francis, is the son of Italian immigrants to Argentina where he was born and became a Jesuit priest.  Promoted by two very conservative popes, it is no surprise that this pope is also very conservative.  Described as living humbly unlike most cardinals, he is known for cooperating with previous military juntas and dictators, but then clashing with President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner - Argentina's first freely-elected female leader. 

Taking the name ‘Francis’ does not necessarily mean anything. This pope may have chosen the name after another Italian - Francis of Assisi, a non-ordained friar, or maybe after a Frenchman - Francis Xavier, founder of his order, the Society of Jesus, aka Jesuits.  Both men, one from early 1200's and the other from the 1500's, had shunned family wealth to “walk the talk” - becoming missionaries for Christianity and the Roman Catholic Church. 

The current crop of cardinals might see in Pope Francis a financial savior with the missionary zeal to convert billions of Asians, perhaps thinking where the money is going to come from in the future.  After all is said and done, the Church as an institution requires a lot of money to survive and all things lead to Rome.

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