Updated 03/13/2013 10:09 PM
The Call Blog: Cardinals Select First Non-European Pope To Lead Catholic Church
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We had an interesting show tonight with some viewers being enthralled over the new pontiff and others disappointed that the choice wasn't progressive enough. It seems like the pick was a safe, smart choice for the Church with Pope Francis' Italian heritage satisfying the conservative segments and his Argentian upbringing appealing to the huge population of Catholics in South America and others calling for minority representation. What do you think? Your thoughts are posted below.
The College of Cardinals selected a new leader for the world's 1.2 billion Catholics this afternoon. 76-year-old Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina is taking over leadership of the Catholic church from Pope Benedict XVI, who retired two weeks ago. The first non-European pope of the modern era will also be the first to be called Pope Francis.
Pope Francis emerged from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica and greeted tens of thousands of worshippers at the Vatican. He was chosen after five rounds of voting over two days. The pope assumes leadership at a time when the Vatican is struggling to overcome several scandals that have undermined its moral authority in many parts of the world.
What's your reaction to the selection? What message does it send that Cardinals chose a pope from South America at this time? What changes does the Catholic church need to make to address the problems it faces today?
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It is indeed wonderful news that the Conclave in Rome has elected Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio to be our newest Pope! May Pope Francis have a long and successful reign as our Holy Father and Supreme Pontiff,and may God bless him in all of his holy endeavors and grant him wisdom,faith and strength to lead his flock of nearly 2 billion Catholics worldwide-Multos Annos!
I am not surprised, as Catholicism is flowering in Central,and South America, and amongst Latina communities in the United States.
What does it matter where the Pope comes from? The main issue is will he lead the catholic church in the right direction, which I believe he will. The scandels are a thing of the past and Pope Francis will move the Catholic Church forward.
No matter how much he says he's for the poor, so long as he opposes contraception and abortion (at least under certain circumstances) he's not going to do much good for them. Anyone who opposes contraception is still mentally rooted in the dark ages and is anti-woman.
I think it's significant that the new Pope chose the name "Francis I", who was a humble saint who gave up his family's wealth, choosing poverty to try to truly live like Jesus did...and the Pope chooses to ride the bus, so I think he will appeal to the many poor and to young Catholics around the world. Wonderful choice, God bless him!
This man is a bad choice for Pope. Professor Byrne is wrong when she says he is healthy and robust. In fact, he had to have a lung removed when he was young. Recently he has had to cut back on his activities because of his health. 76 years old and one lung? Bad choice!
Additionally, this man does not demonstrate any warmth or compassion. He didn't even smile. Bad choice!
I believe the pope should be Italian since the Vatican is in Italy and it is the Roman Catholic Religion. Also the pope should be a lot younger with new ideas, open to changes etc.
Can't help but comment on how media and academia can only emphasize...at this time..."divisions", rather than expressing Catholic life as an array of different expressions of Catholicism.
And why would you give the prominence of a question to a professor about whether this pope is good or not good for the Church. Why would that question have any more value, especially to the those for whom the Church matters most?
This is just more of the same with a Latin twist. I think the new Pope kills two birds with one stone. His family is of Italian descent and he has an Italian last name so he is attractive to Italians and Europeans in general and continues to make the traditional congregants happy around the world. He also brings many of the Spanish/Latin people forcefully into the fold (inclusion) which is one of the fastest growing segments in the flock especially in the US.
Gimme a break! Just because the Pope was born in South America does not make him any less a white European. I was happy for about 15 minutes when I heard he was from Argentina until I heard his parents are both Italians. Just white European dominance, nothing new here.
The new pope shows by his choice of name, his humble greeting and request for our prayers that he is a person from whom we might all learn a great deal. I believe he may emerge as one of the great popes because he has a clear sense of the dignity of life and the value of a humble, prayerful, compassionate way of being in the world, and we need that.
I do not hate the college church I have met many wonderful priest and nuns but the pope is just a normal man. I respect this particular pope because he seems to be a humble man and sincere. I am from a catholic background and I have known many kind and good priest and nuns but the pope is just a man.
This election is awesome! The pope is the first Latin American, first non-European, and first Jesuit to be elected! And he chooses to be called Francis! That's a message to all Catholics, and particularly to some of the Church hierarchy that have become a little too comfy and a little too materialistic, to get back to basics! And he has been taking public transportation and cooking for himself! Wow, those days are so over! Viva il Papa!
I agree with the previou caller. Its just a dressing and I am sure it is politically motivated. I think it is all silly.
Lower East Side
I completely agree with the caller Mary Ann, who said that the Catholic Church should remain traditional. There is no need to change anything to get the approval of the people. I am 21 years old and do not think that the church has to "get with the times". There is a reason that women are not priests and if people cannot understand why, they should educate themselves and learn why. Those who say they are Catholics do not like the way things are going, then they should just leave or accept it the way it is. I am personally happy for this new Pope. God Bless him!
I always follow your show, and today is an special day for our Catholic Church because a decent and Humboldt person will lead our Catholic Church.
To me I think any pope will be willing to make some changes. But the question is that, are they going to allow him. So if he stays that means they've allowed him, but if he resigns that means they didn't allow him.