I’ve been spending the afternoon in front of the T.V. I actually didn’t expect the election of a new Pope to be concluded today, but decided to camp out in front of the tube just in case. The the smoke began to come out of the chimney and it was white! I ran to the church to ring our three tower bells to let the town know and to praise God for his choice. It was kind of neat that the message was received because after I returned to the rectory the doorbell rang and it was the postman who had returned from his rounds to say he’d heard the bells and wondered if that meant the Cardinals had elected a new Pope! I returned to watching the T.V. and waited with the rest of the world for another 45 or 60 minutes to find out who was chosen.
Surprise! I wasn’t expecting the name I heard and I suspect the folks at EWTN were not, either. There was silence from their commentators and I switched to another station and was surprised, again. Who is this “George” the Cardinal on the loggia balcony announced. AH, the Cardinal Archbishop from Argentina. Cool! So many of our brothers and sisters in the church are Hispanic, from Latin America. This could be a good thing.
And the name he choose, was a surprise, too. Francis. I’m sure we’ll understand in the next few days and that the choice is a sign of our new Pope’s style and intentions of priorities. I also imagine the Franciscans are ecstatic and the Jesuits are rejoicing (Pope Francis is a Jesuit). I was impressed with the name, but more impressed that one of the first things he did was to ask people to “bless” him (in so many words), to “pray over him” before he prayed over us and gave the apostolic blessing. Good sign in my book.
Here’s the Latin announcement roughly translated:
“I announce to you a great joy: We have a pope! The eminent and most reverend, Jorge, Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church Bergoglio, who has taken the name Francis.”
Let us pray for him, in the words of the Roman Missal:
O God, who in your providential design
willed that your Church be built
upon blessed Peter, whom you set over the other apostles,
look with favor, we pray, on Francis, our Pope,
and grant that he, whom you have made Peter’s successor,
may be for your people a visible source and foundation
of unity in faith and of communion.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.