My head is spinning.  Just want to get a two things out there…

First, we have a humble Pope.  Consider:

  • Took the papal motto: “Lowly but Chosen”
  • “May God forgive you,” he jokingly told cardinals after his election
  • Breaking tradition, he began his engagement with his people by asking them to pray for him and to pray for his predecessor
  • Choose the name “Francis” which is a clear message about wanting to bring humility back to the papacy
  • Rather than living in a lavish mansion and being driven around town, his chose to live in a humble apartment and take the bus to work
  • He cooks his own meals
  • Son of an immigrant railway worker
  • Once visited an AIDS hospice and washed the feet of the patients there–imitating the servant leadership of Jesus
  • Anti-clericalism and careerism–once lambasted some of his priests for refusing to baptize some children born out of wedlock

Second, we have a really sort of amazingly Magenta Pope who will utterly resist our liberal/conservative, red/blue categories.  Yes, he has traditional views about topics like abortion (he apparently said that “abortion is the death penalty for the unborn”), but consider:

  • The choice of the name of Francis here is unmistakable–he will continue to be a friend of the poor and make this a priority
  • Friendly with liberation theology and Catholic Social Teaching–he is certainly not a Paul Ryan pope
  • Told his people not to come to fly to see him, but instead use that money to give to the poor

It is also amazing to think about a Jesuit pope (he has apparently has master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Buenos Aires!) who took the name Francis.  Will he be able to work toward healing divisions of the Church?