Everyone was a bit surprised by the recent choice of the college of Cardinals, not so much because of who he is, but because of how little known he was. When his name was announced there was a bit of an awkward silence from the crowd as the crowd searched their memories. However, if you are like me, then you are excited to have a man at the helm of the Church again, one who originates from one of the poorest regions of the world, while at the same time remaining deeply grateful for the contributions of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
Of course most of you have already read his basic biography and so I’ll spare you the usual, but I would like to simply introduce, from what I have gathered of the qualities that stand out the most, Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) to Serrans.
Obedient (not sure if that applies to anyone but the Holy Spirit now…)
Gentle yet firm if violating strong convictions
Persuasive by example
Doctrinal (in topics outside the deposit of the faith)
Preacher rather than writer/scholar.
Emphasis on the virtue of humility and corporal works of mercy rather than liturgy and the discussion between faith and reason on which Benedict XVI tried to focus.
To clarify the doctrinal section, he is the successor of Peter and when specially invoked, he is infallible in matters of faith and morals. 1) Personality, 2) pastoral style, 3) liturgical style and 4) unique contributions of doctrine/guidance to the already existing deposit of the faith (what has been taught before him) deserve respect but are not infallible.
I look forward to Pope Francis continuing the New Evangelisation which Pope Benedict XVI started and to his genuine leadership. Viva il papa!