Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Moynihan Report: Letter #46: Pope Francis

The College of Cardinals chose Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, S.J., 76, to become the 266th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, the first Pope ever from Latin America, and the first Jesuit ever.
He is the 265th successor of St. Peter.
The name “Francis”
The new Pope took the name of Francis in honor of St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226), but it seems likely that the name is also meant to honor the great evangelizing Jesuit saint, Francis Xavier (1506-1552), since Bergoglio is a Jesuit.
No Pope has ever before taken the name “Francis.”
And this is the first sign that this pontificate may not be easy to predict.
By choosing the name “Francis” instead of other possible names (“Pius XIII,” “John XXIV,” “Paul VII,” “John Paul III,” “Benedict XVII,” or even “Leo XIV”), the new Pope seems to signal that he wishes to chart his own course, break new ground.
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