Thursday, March 14, 2013

God Bless Pope Francis!

76 year old Cardinal Jorge Borgoglio of Argentina has been named the new Pope to succeed Pope Benedict.  He has taken the name of Pope Francis. He has declined the Roman Numeral I, and says he will remain Pope Francis until there is a Pope Francis II at which time he will then be known as Pope Francis I.  I wish Pope Francis all the best wishes and God's Blessing.

Being a Jew, I do not know much about this man except what I am reading and hearing from reports-and it seems like this is a very good man, a humble man, a holy man. The Arch Bishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina gave up some of the more lavish trappings of  a Cardinal as he would ride a bus to work, cook his own food and live among the poor of Buenos Aires. 

I was really moved when the Pope spoke in St. Peters Square and asked all the people to pray for him.  You could tell by his demeanor this was no act, but the words from a sincere humble man. The crowd at that time became almost eerily silent as they were amazed by the humbleness of this Holy man. Then later the Pope asked for prayers and best wishes for Pope Benedict, who he has just succeeded. You could tell the tens of thousands of people at St. Peters Square loved that request.

One good thing to know about Pope Francis from a Jewish standpoint, is that he has a warm relationship with the Jewish community.  Both leaders of the ADL and the World Jewish Congress have praised his selection and recognized his positive Catholic-Jewish relations. From the Jerusalem Post: "in 2005, Bergoglio was the first public personality to sign a petition for justice in the AMIA bombing of a Jewish Center. He also was one of the signatories on a document called "85 victims, 85 signatures" as part of the bombing's 11th anniversary. In June 2010, he visited the rebuilt AMIA building to talk with Jewish leaders."

From the same article World Jewish Congress President  Ronald Lauder said:
"Pope Francis I is no stranger to us. In recent years he attended many inter-faith events co-organized by the WJC and our regional affiliate, the Latin American Jewish Congress," he wrote, adding he had met him in Buenos Aires in 2008.  Lauder praised the new pope as "an experienced man, someone who is known for his open-mindedness...a man of dialogue, a man who is able to build bridges with other faiths".

God Bless Pope Francis!


Joel said...

And he is a Jesuit!! (My school is affiliated with the Jesuits.) I read Kathyrn Jean Lopez's take on him. Even though Jesuits are sometimes cast as liberals, she states that he is conservative on the social issues and matters of faith. He will be a good man to straighten out the curia in Rome. Plus, as you pointed out, he is humble and has real concern for the poor. So we pray for him that God will bless his ministry and give hope and light to us Catholics. I rejoice that he is a friend of Israel, as we share so much with you and our Jewish brothers and sisters. I admire the country of Israel. Thank you for the good wishes!

Big Mike said...

Thanks so much Joel. I am happy for you as a Catholic and pray for the Blessings of him, that he will be a good Pope for the world.