Pope Francis, the head of the Roman Catholic church.
This is a slew of firsts.
This is the first non-European Pope since Pope Gregory III, who was born in Syria. This is the first Pope ever from the Western hemisphere. This is the first Pope that will be known as Francis.
An aside note to self. When making a reference to NOT thinking of Francis the Talking Mule, make sure that wife knows what I am talking about.
This is the first of the Society of Jesus or the Jesuits to be elected Pope. And, correct me if I am wrong, the first Pope to have one lung.
Pope Francis will probably be a huge disappointment to those who oppose traditionalist teachings that the Roman Catholic church has on sexual issues, including and especially abortion and homosexuality. And probably will not see women in the priesthood anytime soon.
For me, as a Protestant Christian, I will say that this whole process is a lot more interesting that the recent ascent to the See of Canterbury of the Anglican Archbishop Justin. No black smoke or white smoke on that one. However, a whole lot of politics in how the Archbishop of Canterbury is chosen than the Pope. I mean, it is the governing British political party and the reigning monarch and the approval of parliament to gain the head of the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. Again, no smoke signals.
Back to issues Pope Francis faces.
Pope Francis is a strong advocate for Roman Catholic social justice. He has spoken about what he believes is income inequality and poverty.
One area that I am very interested in is his view on child abuse. And according to this from Wikipedia, he is probably going to be a strong advocate for victims of child abuse.
Which leads this Protestant to believe that this Pope will be able to cleanse the church of those that were accomplices to allowing the abuse of children to occur under their reign. One that comes to mind is the current Roger Cardinal Mahony of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. There is way too much to go into here, but Cardinal Mahony should not have been allowed to participate in the just concluded conclave that elected Pope Francis. Like it or not, if Cardinal Mahony were not in his position and wearing a Roman collar, he more than likely would be tried as a co-conspirator in covering up the scandal of pedophile priests within his jurisdiction.
To me, when one does not protect the innocence of children, he or she not only loses any respect, but may in fact be suspect themselves.
It would send a very positive signal to RC's and non RC's in this blogger's opinion.
My last thought is this.
I hope that there is a future Pope that will take the name of. . .Mark. Pope Mark. It does have a nice ring to it, doncha think?
Until then, I will watch the new Pope of the Roman Catholic church, Pope Francis, with great interest.