A new Pope..and the buzz.

Billowing white smoke on March 13th announced the surprising election of the new Holy Father, Pope Francis. By the time you read this he will have celebrated his Holy Week and Masses and undoubtedly will be making his impact upon the Church and the world as all Popes do. The media is already making much of the new Pope’s “humility and simplicity” in ways that seem to me proving true the old adage “comparisons are invidious”. The comparison here being with that of his predecessor Benedict XVI. They will easily forget or deny the vast crowds that came to see Benedict over the past eight years. Even some who should know better have fallen into this temptation. Pope Francis and Pope Benedict XVI came from different backgrounds and pastoral experiences: Benedict a theologian , and close servant of Pope John Paul II; Pope Francis a Jesuit and pastor of a vast archdiocese in a very differ-ent part of the world with different needs. Both men reigned and reign by the Providence of God over His Church and each brought and will bring his talents and insights to bear on the Church as all the 265 Popes have done. The world will applaud what it likes, but as Pope Saint Gregory the Great ( Pope from 590 to 604) once said: Those who do not truly know God will give false honor to God’s servants. Pope Francis is now The Servant of the Servants of God (a title coined by that same Gregory the Great) and he has our prayers for his governance of the Holy Church, the People of God, the Mystical Body of Christ in the days to come.

 

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