Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pope Francis, jesuit.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio born on December 17, 1936. He is the 266th and current pope of the Catholic Church, elected on 13 March 2013. As such, he is both head of the Church and Sovereign of the Vatican City State.
A native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, he was ordained as a priest in 1969.
In 1998 he became the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, and in 2001 a cardinal. Following the resignation of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, on 28 February 2013, the conclave elected Bergoglio, who chose the papal name Francisco in honour of Saint Francis of Assisi.

He is both the first Jesuit pope and the first pope from the Americas. He is also the first pope from outside Europe since Pope Gregory III in the 8th century.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born in Buenos Aires, one of the five children of Mario José Bergoglio, a railway worker born in Portacomaro (Asti) in Italy's Piedmont region, and his wife Regina María Sivori, a housewife born in Buenos Aires to a family of northern Italian (Piedmontese-Genovese) origin. He graduated from a technical secondary school as a chemical technician and then, at the age of 21, decided to become a priest.

JESUIT PRIEST

Bergoglio entered the Society of Jesus on 11 March 1958 and studied to become a priest at the Jesuit seminary in Villa Devoto, city of Buenos Aires. In 1960, Bergoglio obtained a licentiate in philosophy from the Colegio Máximo San José in San Miguel; in 1964 and 1965, he taught literature and psychology at the Colegio de la Inmaculada, a high school in the Province of Santa Fe, Argentina, and in 1966 he taught the same courses at the Colegio del Salvador in Buenos Aires.
In 1967, Bergoglio finished his theological studies and was ordained to the priesthood on 13 December 1969, by Archbishop Ramón José Castellano. He attended the Facultad de Filosofía y Teología de San Miguel (Philosophical and Theological Faculty of San Miguel), a seminary in San Miguel, Buenos Aires province. Bergoglio attained the position of novice master there and became professor of theology.

The Society of Jesus promoted Bergoglio and he served as provincial for Argentina from 1973 to 1979. He was transferred in 1980 to become the rector of the seminary in San Miguel, and served in that capacity until 1986.
He spent several months at Sankt Georgen in Frankfurt, Germany, while considering possible dissertation topics and returned to Argentina to serve as confessor and spiritual director to the Jesuit community in Córdoba.

BISHOP

Bergoglio was named Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires in 1992 and was ordained on 27 June 1992 as Titular Bishop of Auca, with Cardinal Antonio Quarracino, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, serving as principal consecrator.
Bergoglio succeeded Cardinal Quarracino as Archbishop of Buenos Aires on 28 February 1998 and was concurrently named ordinary for Eastern Catholics in Argentina, who had lacked their own prelate.

CARDINAL

At the consistory of 21 February 2001, Archbishop Bergoglio was created a cardinal by Pope John Paul II with the title of cardinal-priest ofSan Roberto Bellarmino. As cardinal, Bergoglio was appointed to five administrative positions in the Roman Curia:

cardinal-priest ofSan Roberto Bellarmino. As cardinal, Bergoglio was appointed to five administrative positions in the Roman Curia:

• Member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
• Member of the Congregation for the Clergy.
• Member of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.
• Member of the Pontifical Council for the Family.
• Member of the Commission for Latin America.

That fall, when Cardinal Edward Egan returned to New York following the September 11 attacks, Bergoglio replaced him as relator (recording secretary) in the Synod of Bishops and, according to the Catholic Herald, created "a favourable impression as a man open to communion and dialogue".

Cardinal Bergoglio became known for personal humility, doctrinal conservatism and a commitment to social justice. A simple lifestyle contributed to his reputation for humility. He lived in a small apartment, rather than in the palatial bishop's residence. He gave up his chauffeured car in favor of public transportation and prepares and cooks his own meals. He gets up early to pray at 4 in the morning and 6 makes daily mass.

On the death of Pope John Paul II, Bergoglio was considered one of the papabile cardinals. He participated as a cardinal elector in the 2005 papal conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI. Catholic journalist John L. Allen, Jr. reported that Bergoglio was a frontrunner in the 2005 Conclave. An unauthorized diary of uncertain authenticity released in September 2005 confirmed that Bergoglio was the runner-up and main challenger of Cardinal Ratzinger at that conclave.

The purported diary of the anonymous cardinal claimed Bergoglio received 40 votes in the third ballot, but fell back to 26 at the fourth and decisive ballot. La Stampa reported that Bergoglio was in close contention with Ratzinger during the election, until he made an emotional plea that the cardinals should not vote for him.
Earlier, he had participated in the funeral of Pope John Paul II and acted as a regent alongside the College of Cardinals, governing the Holy See and the Roman Catholic Church during the interregnum sede vacante period.

During the 2005 Synod of Bishops, he was elected a member of the post-synodal council. On 8 November 2005, Bergoglio was elected president of the Argentine Episcopal Conference for a three-year term (2005–2008) by a large majority of the Argentine bishops. He was reelected on 11 November 2008.

In 2007, just two days after Benedict XVI issued Summorum Pontificum, Cardinal Bergoglio was one of the first bishops in the world to respond by instituting a Tridentine mass in Buenos Aires. The chaplain appointed, the archdiocesan liturgist Fr. Ricardo Dotro, alienated most of the congregation by mixing in elements from the Pauline rite and the congregation soon dwindled from more than 100 to a handful and was later discontinued.

In November 2007 Bergoglio ordered one of his priests to stop celebrating the traditional Latin Mass.
As a cardinal, Bergoglio was associated with Communion and Liberation, a conservative Catholic association of the faithful.
In Argentina, initial opinion following the election was divided; some support Bergoglio and admire his austere lifestyle, while others disapprove of his opposition to issues like same-sex marriage, abortion, eutanasia and are uneasy about his supposed ties to the country's oppressive military dictatorship in the 1970s.

RELATIONS WITH THE ARGENTINE GOVERNMENT

Bergoglio has been the subject of allegations regarding the kidnapping of two priests by the military during Argentina's Dirty War in 1976, whom he had dismissed just prior to their disappearance due to their antigovernment views. These were the subject of a court case in 2005 that was ultimately dismissed, but the episode continues to be a matter of debate, with different accounts of the events being put forth.

In 2005, a human rights lawyer filed a criminal complaint against Bergoglio, as superior in the Society of Jesus of Argentina, accusing him of involvement in the kidnapping by the Navy in May 1976 (during the Dirty War) of two Jesuit priests. The priests, Orlando Yorio and Franz Jalics, were tortured, but found alive five months later, drugged and semi-naked.

Priest Yorio accused the cardinal Bergoglio to help of effectively handing them of priests to the military regime. Jalics refused to discuss the complaint after moving into seclusion in a German monastery. The complaint did not specify the nature of Bergoglio's alleged involvement, and Bergoglio's spokesman flatly denied the allegations. Under Argentine law such accusations can be made on little evidence, to be investigated by a court, and the lawsuit was ultimately dismissed.

Horacio Verbitsky, an Argentine investigative journalist and former montonero guerilla, wrote a book about this and other related events titled El Silencio: de Paulo VI a Bergoglio (From Paul VI to Bergoglio) las relaciones secretas de la Iglesia con la ESMA (secret relations of the Church with the ESMA). According to the book, after their release Yorio accused to Bergoglio, then-Provincial of his San Miguel Jesuit order, of having denounced him. "Bergoglio withdrew his order's protection of the two men after they refused to quit visiting the slums, which ultimately paved the way for their capture."

Jesuit Father General Pedro Arrupe in Rome was informed by letter during the abduction. Both priests Jalics as Orlando Yorio were excluded from the Jesuit Order.
Bergoglio told his authorized biographer, Sergio Rubin, that after the priests' imprisonment he worked behind the scenes for their release; Bergoglio's intercession with dictator Jorge Rafael Videla on their behalf may have saved their lives.
"The [now] cardinal could not justify why these two priests were in a state of helplessness and exposed," according to Luis Zamora, who said that Bergoglio's testimony "demonstrates the role of the Church during the last military dictatorship". In 2010, Bergoglio told Sergio Rubin that he had often hided and sheltered people from the dictatorship on church property, and once gave his own identity papers to a man who looked like Yoro, so he could flee Argentina.

AFTER BECOMING BISHOP

As detailed below, on presenting the Aparecida Document Bergoglio, in addition to commenting on social problems, exhorted "legislators, heads of government, and health professionals" to act according to Catholic principles regarding abortion, euthanasia, and other issues and said that "people cannot receive Holy Communion and at the same time ... commit serious crimes against life and family. This responsibility applies particularly to legislators, politics, governors, and health professionals". He referred to a topical Argentine abortion case. Argentina's government opposed this: Human Rights Undersecretary of Buenos Aires, Guillermo Guerin said that "the diagnosis of the Church in relation to social problems in Argentina is correct, but to mix that with abortion and euthanasia, is at least a clear example of ideological malfeasance"

RELATIONS WITH OTHER RELIGIOUS GROUP

Jewish community

Bergoglio has close ties to the Jewish community of Argentina, and attended Jewish Rosh Hashanah services in 2007 at a synagogue in Buenos Aires.
The Catholic Zenit news agency reported that Bergoglio told the Jewish congregation during his visit that he went to the synagogue to examine his heart, "like a pilgrim, together with you, my elder brothers." After the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) building in that city, which killed 85 people, Bergoglio was the first "public personality" to sign a petition condemning the attack and calling for justice.

Leaders of the Jewish community around the world, not just in Argentina, noted that his words and actions "showed solidarity with the Jewish community" in the aftermath of this attack.
A former head of the World Jewish Congress, Israel Singer, reported that he worked with Bergoglio in the early 2000s, distributing aid to the poor as part of a joint Jewish-Catholic program called "Tzedaka".[43] Singer notes that he was impressed with Bergoglio's modesty, remembering that "if everyone sat in chairs with handles [arms], he would sit in the one without."
Bergoglio's numerous other actions in support of the Jewish community included his co-hosting a Kristallnacht memorial ceremony at the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral in 2012.

ISLAMIC COMMUNITY

Leaders of the Islamic community in Buenos Aires welcomed the news of Bergoglio's election as pope, noting that he was always a "friend of the Islamic community," and a person whose position is "pro-dialogue."
Bergoglio visited both a mosque and a school in Argentina, visits that Sheik Mohsen Ali, the Director for the Diffusion of Islam, called actions that strengthened the relationship between the Catholic and Islamic communities.
Dr. Sumer Noufouri, Secretary General of the Islamic Center of the Republic of Argentina (CIRA), added that Bergoglio's past actions make his election as Pope a cause within the Islamic community of "joy and expectation of strengthening dialogue between religions."
Noufouri said that the relationship between CIRA and Bergoglio over the course of a decade had helped to build up Christian-Muslim dialogue in a way that was "really significant in the history of monotheistic relations in Argentina.

PAPACY

Bergoglio was elected pope on 13 March 2013, the second day of the 2013 papal conclave, taking the papal name Francis. Vatican deputy spokesman Thomas Rosica said the same day that the new pontiff had chosen the name in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi, and had done so because the new pontiff was a lover of the poor. Some had initially thought that, as a Jesuit, he chose Francis in recognition of the co-founder of the Society of Jesus.

This is the the first time that a pope has been named "Francis" and the first time since Pope Lando's brief in 913 reign that a serving pope held a name unused by a predecessor.
Bergoglio is the first Jesuit chosen to be pope.[55] He is also the first pope from the New World, and the first from the Southern Hemisphere. Francis is the first pope born outside Europe in 1,272 years, since Syrian-born St. Gregory III, who reigned from 731 to 741.

HEALT

Pope Francis, elected at the age of 76, is reported to be in good health due to his austere and healthy lifestyle. In 1969, shortly after becoming a priest, Bergoglio had life-threatening pneumonia, and three cysts. According to an interview he had with his biographers, he was between life and death for three days, and had the upper part of his right lung removed.
Doctors say that his missing lung tissue does not have a significant impact on his health. The only concern would be decreased respiratory reserve if he had a respiratory infection.

POSITIONS ON SOCIAL AND POLITICAL ISSUES

Poverty and economic inequality

At a meeting of Latin American bishops in 2007 Bergoglio said "we live in the most unequal part of the world, which has grown the most, yet reduced misery the least" and that "the unjust distribution of goods persists, creating a situation of social sin that cries out to Heaven and limits the possibilities of a fuller life for so many of our brothers".

During a 48-hour public servant strike in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Bergoglio observed the differences between "poor people who are persecuted for demanding work, and rich people who are applauded for fleeing from justice". During a May 2010 speech in Argentina regarding the poor, he directed his message to the wealthy by saying: "You avoid taking into account the poor.

We have no right to duck down, to lower the arms carried by those in despair.
We must reclaim the memory of our country who has a mother, recover the memory of our Mother".
In 2011, Bergoglio decried sweatshops where people works as slaves and homelessness in Buenos Aires as forms of slavery, saying "In this city, slavery is the order of the day in various forms, in this city workers are exploited in sweatshops and, if immigrants, are deprived of the opportunity to get out.
In this city, there are kids on the streets for years." He added, "The city failed and continues to fail in the attempt deliver them from this bondage that is structural homelessness.

He decried and attacked openly drug traffickers, who sell marijuana, cocaine base, and paco, selling them to young users, making them cannon fodder.
Spoiling them their life with drug addiction.

APARECIDA DOCUMENT

In 2007, as Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Bergoglio presented the final version of a joint statement of the bishops of Latin America – the "Aparecida Document" – upon its approval by Pope Benedict XVI.
Bergoglio denounced what he characterized as a cultural tolerance of child abuse.
He spoke strongly against the abuse of children as "demographic terrorism" and decried their exploitation. "Children are mistreated, and are not educated or fed.

Many are made into prostitutes and exploited". In 2011, Bergoglio condemned child trafficking and sex slavery in Buenos Aires, saying "In this city, there are many girls who stop playing with dolls to enter the dump of a brothel because they were stolen, sold, betrayed."

He continued that, "In this city, women and girls are kidnapped, and they are subjected to use and abuse of their body; they are destroyed in their dignity.
The flesh that Jesus assumed and died for is worth less than the flesh of a pet.
A dog is cared for better than these slaves of ours, who are kicked, who are broken.

Among several hundred conclusions, the document links worthiness to receive the Eucharist to compliance and acceptance of Church teaching against "abominable crimes" such as abortion and euthanasia: "We hope that legislators, politics, heads of government, and health professionals, conscious of the dignity of human life and of the rootedness of the family in our peoples, will defend and protect it from the abominable crimes of abortion and euthanasia; that is their responsibility ...

We should commit ourselves to 'eucharistic coherence', that is, we should be conscious that people cannot receive Holy Communion and at the same time act or speak against the commandments, in particular when abortion, euthanasia, and other serious crimes against life and family are facilitated.
This responsibility applies particularly to legislators, politics, governors, and health professionals."
Bergoglio has also encouraged his clergy and laity to oppose both abortion and euthanasia, describing the pro-choice movement as a "culture of death", and had opposed the free distribution of contraceptives in Argentina.

CORRUPTION

In 2011, Bergoglio stated: "There is a daily anesthesia that this city knows how to use very well, and it is called bribery, and with this anesthesia the conscience is numbed. Buenos Aires is a bribe-taking city.
He faced to everybody and told what he thought about any issue.

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

Bergoglio has affirmed while he was bishop that Catholic church teaching on homosexual practices; they are intrinsically immoral. However he has stressed the importance of respecting homosexual persons, he added: they are human being and they deserved our respect, help and understanding.
He opposes same-sex marriage, and unsuccessfully opposed legislation introduced in 2010 to legalize same-sex marriage in Argentina, calling it a "real and dire anthropological throwback".
Bergoglio accepts the union between two persons but not marriage and the adoption of children.
In July 2010, while the law was under consideration, he wrote a letter to Argentina's cloistered nuns in which he said:
In the coming weeks, the Argentine people will face a situation whose outcome can seriously harm the family…At stake is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother and children. At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance, and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God. At stake is the total rejection of God's law engraved in our hearts.
Let's not be naive: This is not a simple political fight; it is a destructive proposal to God's plan.

This is not a mere legislative proposal (that's just its form), but a move by the father of lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God… Let's look to St. Joseph, Mary, and the Child to ask fervently that they defend the Argentine family in this moment... May they support, defend, and accompany us in this war of God.

After L'Osservatore Romano reported this, several priests expressed their support for the law and one was defrocked. Observers believe that the church's opposition and Bergoglio's language, which has been criticized by politicians worked in favor of the law's passage and that Roman Catholic officials learned from their failed campaign against the same-sex marriage law to adopt a different tone in later debates on social issues such as parental surrogacy.

WHO AM I TO CRITICIZE THE GAY?"

Pope Francis talked with the press without restrictions on the plane that took him back to Rome on Sunday afternoon, addressing almost all the thorny issues that affect the Church today. From the gay lobby at the Vatican, to the situation of the bank of the Holy See and the internal bids in Roman Curia. And he did it in a plain way, without avoiding the core of the many questions asked.

"If a person is gay and seeks the Lord and has good will, who am I to criticize him? The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this in a very beautiful way. It says that you cannot cast them out for that reason. We must integrate them into society. Having this trend is not the problem. We must be brothers. The problem is to make a lobby of it."

Regarding the alleged gay lobby, the pontiff said: "I have not yet met at the Vatican anyone who gives me an identity card where it says he is part of the lobby". But noted: "They say that the lobby exists". He noted in this regard that "when you meet a person you must distinguish between being gay and the fact of lobbying, because no lobby is good."

BOOKS

Among his many writings and books include:

• Bergoglio, Jorge (1982) (in Spanish). Meditaciones para religiosos [Meditations for the Religious]. Buenos Aires: Diego de Torres. OCLC 644781822.

• Bergoglio, Jorge (1992) (in Spanish). Reflexiones en esperanza [Reflections of Hope]. Buenos Aires: Ediciones Universidad del Salvador. OCLC 36380521.

• Bergoglio, Jorge (2003) (in Spanish). Educar: exigencia y pasión: desafíos para educadores cristianos [To Educate: Exactingness and Passion: Challenges for Christian Educators]. Buenos Aires: Editorial Claretiana. ISBN 9789505124572.

• Bergoglio, Jorge (2003) (in Spanish). Ponerse la patria al hombro: memoria y camino de esperanza [Putting the Motherland on One's Shoulders: Memoir and Path of Hope]. Buenos Aires: Editorial Claretiana. ISBN 9789505125111.
• Bergoglio, Jorge (2005) (in Spanish). La nación por construir: utopía, pensamiento y compromiso: VIII Jornada de Pastoral Social [The Nation to Be Built: Utopia, Thought, and Committment]. Buenos Aires: Editorial Claretiana. ISBN 9789505125463.

• Bergoglio, Jorge (2006) (in Spanish). Corrupción y pecado: algunas reflexiones en torno al tema de la corrupción [Corruption and Sin: Some Thoughts on Corruption]. Buenos Aires: Editorial Claretiana. ISBN 9789505125722.

• Bergoglio, Jorge (2007) (in Spanish). El verdadero poder es el servicio [True Power Is Service]. Buenos Aires: Editorial Claretiana. OCLC 688511686.

• Bergoglio, Jorge (2009) (in Spanish). Seminario: las deudas sociales de nuestro tiempo: la deuda social según la doctrina de la iglesia [Seminar: the Social Debts of Our Time: Social Debt According to Church Doctrine]. Buenos Aires: EPOCA-USAL. ISBN 9788493741235.

• Bergoglio, Jorge; Skorka, Abraham (2010) (in Spanish). Sobre el cielo y la tierra [On Heaven and Earth]. Buenos Aires: Editorial Sudamericana. ISBN 9789500732932.

• Bergoglio, Jorge (2010) (in Spanish). Seminario Internacional: consenso para el desarrollo: reflexiones sobre solidaridad y desarrollo [International seminar: Consensus about Development: Reflexions on Solidarity and development]. Buenos Aires: EPOCA. ISBN 9789875073524.

• Bergoglio, Jorge (2011) (in Spanish). Nosotros como ciudadanos, nosotros como pueblo: hacia un bicentenario en justicia y solidaridad [Ourselves as Citizens, Ourselves as a People: towards a Bicentenary in Justice and Solidarity]. Buenos Aires: Editorial Claretiana. ISBN 9789505127443.

FRANCIS TO ARGENTINA: STOP FIGHTING, START CARING

Pope makes surprise phone call home to well-wishers.

Argentines holding vigil in their capital’s central Plaza de Mayo before yesterday’s papal installation ceremony erupted in joy when Pope Francis called at 3:30am (local time), urging them to cast aside their conflicts and take care of each other.

Bergoglio in phone: “My dear children, I know you’re in the plaza,”
he said during the call, which he made just an hour before his ceremony began in St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City. His words were routed to loudspeakers and transmitted live by television and radio across Argentina.

“I know that you’re praying and making prayers, I need them very much,” he added, drawing cheers and applause from the crowd.
Francis, or Francisco as he is known in the Spanish-speaking world, asked the people to care for each other and that there should be no hate, conflicts or jealousy.

And, finally: “Don’t forget that this bishop who is far away loves you very much. Pray for me,” he concluded.
“Thank you Bergoglio. Welcome to the Pope!” many shouted. “Viva Argentina, viva el Papa, viva la Iglesia!”

Watching on four huge screens set up outside the plaza’s Metropolitan Cathedral, many spent the entire night holding vigil before yesterday’s Vatican ceremony began, hours before dawn. Other churches around the country also stayed opened all night and set up television screens in plazas.

“We’re so proud to have an Argentine pope, and I think this will help renovate the Church, something that it needs so much,” Mariana Di Próspero said. Her son, Juan Martín Cazzos, 16, carried a sign saying “The youth with you returns to the church with strength and faith.”

María Oviedo came with other Catholic nuns and teachers from their school, and also stayed all night.
“We have the highest hopes” for this papacy, she said, recalling how when he was cardinal of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio came to visit Laferrere, her neighbourhood in Greater Buenos Aires.
Federico Rizzo, 16, wrapped himself in an Argentine flag and spoke of his pride: “These are so many situations that don’t happen every day. I’m so hopeful because he’s a person who is so humble and simple that the only thing he wants is to help others.”

Older people marvelled at their ability to see one of their own at the Vatican on the huge screens.
“I’m 70 years old. Look at what technology can do,” said César Derganz, a philosopher from Salta province, with tears in his eyes. “I’m watching this event in the Vatican. Before, only the rich could go. My ancestors could never even imagine this.”
Some of the worshippers slept outside the Metropolitan Cathedral wrapped in the yellow and white flag of the Vatican. Others prayed inside the cathedral.
“We’re so happy to have an Argentine pope, someone full of humility, intelligent, who cares about everyone,” said housewife Maria-na O’Connor, 51. “I think this will mean a big change in the country, it will transmit peace and harmony, which is what we need in Argentina,” she added.

José María Di Paola, a priest who works in the slums and a friend of the pope, said Francis was popular with the millions of Argentines who live in poverty.
“Lots and lots of good memories of him and how he accompanied us come to mind,” he said in Plaza de Mayo. “The people in the slums love him, they feel he is one of them.”
Bergoglio took his name in honour of St. Francis of Assisi, a symbol of poverty, simplicity, charity and love of nature.

Known for travelling by bus and shunning the luxuries of high Church office, Bergoglio lived in a one-room apartment next to the cathedral and grew up in a middle-class family in Buenos Aires.
Latin America’s first pope inaugurated his papacy yesterday with an address to an estimated 200,000 in St. Peter’s Square in Rome, calling for the defence of the weakest in society and of the environment.
Buenos Aires Herald with AP, Reuters.

THE ELECTION OF POPE FRANCIS SHOWS THAT THE CHURCH IS ALIVE.

“Pope Francis has earned, since the first day, the sympathy and hearts of the faithful with gestures of great simplicity, but revealing at the same time a great human and spiritual depth”, says the President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Archbishop Claudio Celli. In an interview with Clarín, he said he believes that Bergoglio`s style will do much good for a church so hard hit by scandals and bids for power. And, having taken the name of the great saint of spirituality and poverty, Pope Francis “opens a great hope” among the faithful.

- How did you receive the election of Pope Francis?

- Truth is I am very happy and moved. Also, I'm glad it went to a Latin American. I think it will be very positive; he will bring fresh air to the church. Again, the Spirit has surprised us and has opened our hope. I would say more: people themselves are moved. This shows that despite what is said and for all its problems, the Church is alive. It was visible in the atmosphere of joy and prayer that was sparked by his presence on the balcony in his first encounter with the people of God. The silence that was created when he invited to pray could be touched with hands. The Pope was able to touch the hearts of people. This will help the whole Church in the world, even in the unbelievers.

- His gestures of austerity and simplicity surprised everyone...

- Yes, very favorably. From the first day Pope Francis has earned the sympathy and hearts of the faithful with gestures of great simplicity, revealing at the same time a great human and spiritual depth. He reads a speech, but then improvises very warmly. During the Angelus he began to talk to people. The feeling was that he was talking to each one individually, not to the crowd. The truth is that he has a beautiful communicative power.

- He also pleasantly surprised with his choice of name.

- Yes, because St. Francis of Assisi inspired a great movement of spirituality and closeness. He was a great lover of Christ, the man who accompanied Christ in his poverty, in its simplicity. Christ`s herald to renew the Church. For me the choice of that name is emblematic, a benchmark, a breath of fresh air. Undoubtedly, the Church has struggled. Benedict XVI spoke of black clouds. The boat looked like it was about to sink. And, at this time, when the Church faces dialogue with the world, the Pope makes reference to Francis. Francis is an inspiration. Francis means reform. Therefore, this opens a great hope in the hearts of men.

- Do you support the disclosure of the report about the leak of classified documents (Vatileaks), and bids in the Roman Curia prepared by three cardinals, transferred by Benedict to his successor?

- I favor the criterion of transparency. John Paul II spoke of the requirement that the Holy See be a glass box. Now, I haven´t read the report and, therefore, I cannot say today whether or not it would be wise to publish it. Undoubtedly, the confidentiality of the source must be respected if someone revealed a very delicate thing considering that his identity would be protected. In short, I would decide what to do once I knew what it says.

- The Church is losing believers; there is little religious practice and a great distance between its principles and what is experienced. What will Francis do?

- The option is between a self-absorbed Church, only concerned with defending certain values or their doctrine, or to open up to dialogue with today's world. Francis's first steps move in the second direction. In the direction of a Church showing proximity to the men and women of today, a welcoming Church whose first gesture is neither to condemn, nor judge. Our people struggle to live, and not just economically. We need a cozy Church, a Church that knows how to comfort.

- Many believers wish a change and modernization in the Church. Are we going to see these changes soon?

- I think the Church is looking, above all, for authenticity. It wants to discover the gospel without ornaments, because sometimes things are added, that affect your message. It wants to deliver that message with more transparency, more simply, with more beauty. It longs for pure water out of the gospel. Pope Francis brings a new dimension, a different sensibility. He will surprise everyone.

*Sergio Rubin is the envoy of the Clarín´s newspaper to the Holy See. He is co-author, Francesca Ambrogetti, of “El jesuita, conversaciones con el cardinal Jorge Bergoglio”, Vergara, 2010.

Pope Francis, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio Of Buenos Aires.



Pope Francis speaks.



Pope Francis gives first Sunday Angelus address



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