I pray Pope Francis is the right man for the job

Much to the chagrin of progressive Catholics, the College of Cardinals elected a Catholic to the papacy. That man is Argentinean Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio, the alleged runner up at the 2005 conclave.

He has been described by everyone as a humble, down to earth defender of the faith who can bridge the gap between Latin America – where roughly 40% of the world’s Catholics reside – and the parts of the world where Catholicism is in decline.

Francis Homily

As expected, many leading Catholic intellectuals tell us the man now known as Pope Francis is a “reformer” and a “true man of God.” I don’t know which pope the Cardinals would have chosen wouldn’t be considered a “man of God,” and I hate to be a contrarian and rain on everyone’s parade, but what evidence is there that he was a reformer during his time as Archbishop?

As Catholic Vote contributor Pia de Solenni candidly admits: “we don’t know much about how he ran the chancellory in Buenos Aires.”

Now, I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt to scholars more familiar with the papacy than I am, but it seems many of them are making the absurd claim that Archbishop Bergoglio’s decision to ride the bus to work and to live in an apartment – something George Weigel belittled members of the LCWR for doing – says something about how he will run the Roman Curia.

To be sure, Pope Francis has been an outspoken critic of gay marriage, birth control and other issues close to the hearts of most mass-attending Catholics. That’s great news, but what I am more interested in is where he stands on internal issues. In particular, has he helped implement Summorum Pontificum, Benedict’s decree on the Extraordinary Mass?  Is he a supporter of all things Vatican II? Where does he stand on Catholic-Jewish, Catholic-Muslim and Rome-SSPX relations? And does he actually have a track record of disciplining abusive and progressive priests in Buenos Aires?

The answers to these questions will become evident in the weeks and months ahead, as his past writings are being translated into English as we speak and his homilies and daily activities give us a better sense of who he is.

Now, given the amount of time we’ve had to familiarize ourselves with Pope Francis, I think its fine to focus on his life story and to tell ourselves he’s the type of person we want as our pope. But to be quite honest, I’m having a hard time understanding how this 76-year-old, seemingly unknown Cardinal was who Benedict had in mind to succeed him when he stepped down from a church everyone said was in need of a youthful and vigorous leader. I could be wrong, and I won’t presume to know better than the Cardinals themselves, but only time will tell if Pope Francis is the right man for the job. I pray that he is.

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Categories:Pope Francis

10 thoughts on “I pray Pope Francis is the right man for the job

  1. GREG SMITH says:

    Dear Stephen ~ You write: I’m having a hard time understanding how this 76-year-old, seemingly unknown Cardinal was who Benedict had in mind to succeed him when he stepped down from a church everyone said was in need of a youthful and vigorous leader. I could be wrong, and I won’t presume to know better than the Cardinals themselves,…”
    I believe I understand how it happened; He’s the man the Holy Spirit selected. ~ Great things are a about to happen. Let’s relax and appericiate them. Pax, Greg

  2. Mark Polo says:

    I’m a little disheartened to see posts that are bordering on “Pope bashing” on this blog. He’s been the Successor of Peter for three days, and we waste lines and lines on insinuations about what he may or may not have done and that maybe over two thirds of the Cardinals were all deaf to the Holy Spirit? We have to assume that he is the right man unless direct evidence to the contrary comes to our attention (there have been bad Popes in history). For now, we should be welcoming him in joy, even ignoring seeming missteps in the early days, as he learns his new role.

  3. Rich Ketter says:

    I would pray more for Stephen Knox, that he can give up his personal fights and join the Universal Church who is celebrating the new Pope, while he is only trying to provoke a fight.
    I am just glad that the Pope will not be looking to this Website for direction as to what he should do to be a good Shepherd. No one cares if he has the Knox seal of approval.
    Bless the Lord, and be of good Cheer. Pope Francis I will challenge many, and will be challenged in his new job.
    When Stephen Knox washing and kisses the feet of AIDS patients, I will listen to him on whether the Pope hates LGBT people as much as he does.
    Pax et Bonum

  4. Thomas Rooney OFS says:

    A third wow. What “Benedict had in mind of for a succesor” is irrelevant in terms of choosing a Pope. He stepped down because he could not do the job any longer and the College chose a man they thought could.
    Trust in the Holy Spirit.

  5. Stephen Kokx says:

    Tracy,

    I do not understand why you are so hostile to what I said. And i don’t understand why you think I am a “traddie.” Is that meant to mock me? If it is, I hope you wouldn’t call someone of Protestant or Jewish background a slang term.

    In any event, I don’t think standing up for marriage or being pro-life is any less important than how we celebrate the mass. Just look at my posts on those very subjects. I care deeply about them.

    All I was trying to say is that any candidate the Cardinals would have chosen would have had the same views as Archbishop Bergoglio on those issues. So in that regard I think it’s nice to be concerned with other topics as well.

    1. Rich Ketter says:

      It was a hostle blog.
      You make attacks on part of our Church, and then feel attacked?
      You try to box in the Pope to make you feel that your worldview is the only one?
      Please, brother, reread your blogs before you post. Then edit it with the Love of Christ. Edgy may work for many political websites, but when you post under the label Catholic, be a true Catholic.

    2. ron morrison says:

      Stephen, your cup seems half empty rather than half full. Let’s give the guy a chance before 2nd guessing.

  6. Tracy says:

    WOW, forget about the cardinals, don’t presume to know more than the Holy Spirit. That is what you should be contemplating. Really the extraordinary form of the Mass over Life issues is your interest priority? You traddies are giving yourselves and your cause a bad name….and I love the Latin Mass, but man you guys are like a wet blanket at a picnic. The Chair of Peter is filled, Praise be to God!

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