It’s a pretty big deal the new Pope is a Jesuit. Jesuits are not supposed to seek high positions in the church. In fact, if they are going to be made a bishop, they typically seek the approval of their superiors. Whether or not Cardinal Bergoglio is going to seek permission of the current Superior General, Adolfo Nicolás Pachón, I don’t know. I would think it’d be difficult to say no to a position that is supposed to be informed by the Holy Spirit.

The main square of St. Peter's, Vatican City.

More exciting is the potential that Cardinal Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, will bring his take on spirituality. The Jesuit approach, for me, has always been more consistent with what Christ taught with his actions and closer to what faith development (ie: getting closer to God’s calling through discernment) should be. Canonical teachings and dogma are important but hewing to them too closely so as to shut out the workings of the Holy Spirit is counterproductive in my view.

Of course, Francis’ propensity to be out among the poor and marginalized, his embrace of simplicity, and the fact that he is from South America present a great opportunity to address head on some of the biggest complaints against the Church. One has to wonder if this will be the beginning of diversifying the face of the Catholic hierarchy so it better reflects the global faithful.

In any case, pray for him. It’s literally what he asked for when he appeared on the balcony today. It’s a difficult job, but that type of humility in a leader is an impressive sign.

Viva Il Papa!



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© 2020 by Mark Konold