The pope’s very first words after being elected? “I am a sinner, but as this office has been given to me, I accept,” according to The AP.
- Task No. 1 is getting control of the Vatican’s central bureaucracy, and it won’t be easy.
- This is going to be a different kind of pope and a different style of papacy — he stopped in yesterday at his pre-conclave hotel to settle up his tab. Seriously.
- Argentina’s Dirty War of the 1970s shapes this man much as communist Poland shaped John Paul II or Nazi Germany shaped Benedict XVI.
- The fact that he’s the first Jesuit pope means big things for both the Jesuits and the papacy.
The person we can all thank for giving us Pope Francis? 76-year-old Amalia Damonte, who was unable to return Francis’ childhood affections. Young Jorge Bergoglio said he’d have to become a priest if she didn’t love him back; we all know how that turned out.
With the pending World Cup, 2016 Olympics and now the pope, it’s a whole lot of Don’t Cry for Me, South America.
Remember how Cardinal Schoenborn’s mother fretted over his ability to confront Vatican “bitchiness?” Now NY Cardinal Tim Dolan’s mother, Shirley, thinks the new pope seems a little too dour: “The only thing is he’s not jovial,” she said after the election. “He looks very stern or something, but he’ll be OK — Tim would have been better.”
They didn’t get the pope they were hoping for, but Catholics in Africa say maybe the first Latin American pope will open the door for a guy from Africa next time.
The AP has a roundup on Francis’ views on just about everything, from the tango to his favorite film to living frugally.
Evangelist Luis Palau, a native Argentinian, considers the new pope a personal friend and describes Francis as warm, humble, firm and “not a Hollywood actor.”
Meanwhile, in news beyond the Tiber …
The pastor of Indiana’s largest church, First Baptist of Hammond, told a 17-year-old girl that their sexual relationship was what Jesus wanted. Prosecutors disagree.
Our own Jonathan Merritt takes stock of growing conservative uneasiness over capital punishment.
Fairly conservative Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican, says he now supports gay marriage because his son, Will, 21, came out to him and convinced the senator that people don’t choose to be gay.
That 11-year-old girl who wanted to play with the boys on the Catholic school football team? She can now take to the field.
Domino’s Pizza magnate (and very conservative Catholic) Tom Monaghan won a key round in federal court against the Obama administration’s birth control mandate.