2013-03-14            John W        John W's previous articles


Pope Francis  - Thank You Holy Spirit!

At a little after 3am this morning Hong Kong time, after a toilet visit,
I turned on the computer to see if a new pope had been selected.
And the news had just appeared: white smoke...but no name yet

Not long after, the name appeared:  Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina

My first reaction: thank God not a European! Thank God the cardinals had what it took to think outside the European box. Maradona's comment: "the hand of God"!

Then when I read about him: Italian father, experience in the Vatican....
I couldn't help thinking "what a wise choice....not European, but with European links/experience...ideal".  The Italians won't mind a non-Italian because he has Italian blood and an Italian name!

Not one of the favorites....the experts confounded....God has a sense of humor!

Then "he's a Jesuit"  ....the J's will be happy!    What a turn-a-round: Jesuits closed down by Vatican a few hundred years ago...and now a Jesuit pope! Jesuit novice masters big smiles as they stand by for a surge in recruits!

Then "he cares for the poor and lives simply" ...this is hugely significant with immense ramifications.  May he downsize the papacy, downsize the Curia, downsize the Vatican, encourage all Catholics to live more simply and do more for the poor

Then....the announcement of his name: Francis!  My thought: "It gets better!"   A name that says a lot about the new pope's thinking and future policy. A dynamite name. A name that should trigger all sorts of good reactions in the Church...and in the world....a person of peace, of simplicity, someone who cares about the environment

My mind went to South America...what a boost for the Church there.
Eat your hearts out you Evangelicals!  But don't fear, Francis is a strong believer in Ecumenism....may you work with him to help South America stay Christian!

My mind also went to the many dozens of South American prisoners in HK's jails....they will be happy!

Stand by for one heck of a party when Francis goes to Brazil for World Youth Day!  Taking in a visit to Argentina and other countries!  What a co-incidence:  Benedict and Francis both appointed just before WYD in their native lands

A man of threes: elected on 13 of 3rd, 2013....and 3 firsts: first South American, first Jesuit and first Francis

His simple address at the balcony....another John Paul I for simple language and rapport with the people....with the friendliness of John XXIII

And...maybe not a big disappointment for Cardinal Tagle...still young...and Francis will probably retire within next 5 years...Pope Tagle next?

With the understatement of the year in one ABC report, quoting a Church historian:  "A Jesuit pope ....this is not very common for the papacy"

Thank you Holy Spirit for springing a surprise!  Surely, surely you had something to do with the choice of Francis  !

See blog of March 10: Praying for a Francis pope!!!

c.f Seagull on top of conclave chimney ...for Francis


Comments welcome here