[Scroll down for the first comments of Pope Francis]
Waiting for the news. More as it comes. The twitter stream is moving like gangbusters. I never, ever imagined it would come this fast. I was thinking tomorrow at the earliest.
I’m wondering right now what it means, and thinking it means the choice was more obvious than any of us suspected. “Scola” keeps running through my mind. We’ll see soon.
All that I know is that there’s a man in a little room who needs our prayers.
2:33pm EST: St. Peter’s is gorgeous. The crowd is ebullient. This is such an amazing moment.
3:12pm EST: Bergoglio it is. Pope Francis I.
3:21pm EST: I don’t know enough about him comment intelligently, but I’m impressed with the choice of Francis as a name, whether it’s from Francis of Assisi or Xavier.
3:34pm EST: Quick thoughts. An outstanding gesture of humility in asking the blessing of the crowd. A good smile and genial demeanor. An intellectual known for his humble way of life and demeanor. An older choice, which means we will not see a long, JP2-style papacy. A chemist and a Jesuit.
We all have much to learn.
3:46pm EST: Some of his words from the balcony.
As you know, the duty of the conclave was to appoint a bishop of Rome. It seems to me that my brother cardinals have chosen one who is from far away, but here I am.
I would like to thank you for your embrace, also to … the bishops, thank you very much.
First and foremost, I would like to pray for our emeritus pope, Benedict XVI. Let us pray all of us together … so that he’s blessed by the lord and guarded.
Let us pray always, not just for ourselves, but for others and everyone in the world because there is a great brotherhood among us.
Also: the @Pontifex Twitter account is active again.
3:51pm EST: “Francis, repair my Church.” –God
+Bergoglio was the runner-up in 2005.
Some quotes from John Allen’s piece:
Bergoglio’s reputation for personal simplicity also exercised an undeniable appeal – a Prince of the Church who chose to live in a simple apartment rather than the archbishop’s palace, who gave up his chauffeured limousine in favor of taking the bus to work, and who cooked his own meals.
His original plan was to be a chemist, but in 1958 he instead entered the Society of Jesus and began studies for the priesthood. He spent much of his early career teaching literature, psychology and philosophy, and early on he was seen as a rising star. From 1973 to 1979 he served as the Jesuit provincial in Argentina, then in 1980 became the rector of the seminary from which he had graduated.
“We live in the most unequal part of the world, which has grown the most yet reduced misery the least,” Bergoglio said during a gathering of Latin American bishops in 2007. “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.”
At the same time, he has generally tended to accent growth in personal holiness over efforts for structural reform.
Bergoglio is seen an unwaveringly orthodox on matters of sexual morality, staunchly opposing abortion, same-sex marriage, and contraception. In 2010 he asserted that gay adoption is a form of discrimination against children, earning a public rebuke from Argentina’s President, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.
Nevertheless, he has shown deep compassion for the victims of HIV-AIDS; in 2001, he visited a hospice to kiss and wash the feet of 12 AIDS patients.
Bergoglio may be basically conservative on many issues, but he’s no defender of clerical privilege, or insensitive to pastoral realities. In September 2012, he delivered a blistering attack on priests who refuse to baptize children born out of wedlock, calling it a form of “rigorous and hypocritical neo-clericalism.”
4:11pm EST: Archbishop Chaput:
I first met our new Holy Father at Rome’s 1997 Synod for America, and still have a gift from him, a portrait of Mary, the mother of Jesus, on my desk.
Pope Francis, the former Cardinal Bergoglio, is a man from the new heartland of the global Church; a priest of extraordinary intellectual and cultural strengths; a man deeply engaged in the issues of contemporary life and able to speak to the modern heart; open to the new realities the Church faces; and rooted in a deep love of Jesus Christ. He is a wonderful choice; a pastor God sends not just to the Church but to every person of good will who honestly yearns for justice, peace and human dignity in our time. May God grant him courage and joy, and sustain him with his divine presence.
And may Catholics in Philadelphia and around the world lift him up with our prayers.
4:30pm EST: +Dolan comments:
Pope Francis I stands as the figure of unity for all Catholics wherever they reside. The bishops of the United States and the people of our 195 dioceses offer prayers for our new leader and promise allegiance to him. Intense prayer from all around the world surrounded the election of Pope Francis I. The bishops of the United States thank God for the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the inspired choice of the College of Cardinals.’
4:50pm EST: First comments from Pope Francis, via Aleteia
“Brothers and sisters, good evening!
“You know that the duty of the Conclave was to give a bishop to Rome. It seems as though my brother cardinals went almost to the end of the world to get him. But here we are. I thank you for your welcome. The diocesan community of Rome has a bishop. Thank you!
“Before all else, I would like to say a prayer for our Bishop Emeritus Benedict XVI. Let us all pray together for him, that the Lord may bless him and that Our Lady may watch over him that Our Lady may watch over him” is a correction to the text I just sent.”
Then the crowd prayed the “Our Father, “ and the “Hail Mary,” and the “Glory Be” for Benedict XVI.
“And now let us begin this journey, [together] as bishop and people. This journey of the Church of Rome, which is to preside over all the Churches in charity. It is a journey of fraternity, of love, of trust between us. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the world, so that a great brotherhood might come about. I hope that this journey of the Church—which we begin today and in which my Cardinal Vicar who is present here will assist me—will be fruitful for the Evangelization of this beautiful city.
“And now I would like to give you my blessing. But before I do, I would like to ask you a favor: before the bishop blesses the people, I ask you to pray to the Lord that He bless me…. the prayer of the people for a blessing upon their bishop. Let us take a moment of silence for you to offer your prayer for me.”
The crowd kept silence while the Pope Francis I bowed and received their prayers. Then the Pope proceeded.
“Now I will give you my blessing and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will.”
After making the sign of the Cross and uttering a prayer, Pope Francis I said:
“Brothers and Sisters,
“I leave you now. Thank you for your welcome. Pray for me. And we’ll see one another again soon. Tomorrow I want to go and pray to Our Lady, asking her to watch over Rome. Good night and have a good rest.”
Together with the faithful of the Church of Washington, I give thanks to God that we have a Pope and offer our joyful congratulations to our Holy Father Francis, the former Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina. We pledge to him our loyalty and love as the Vicar of Christ, the visible head of the Church Universal and Servant of the servants of God.
Pope Francis is endowed with so many gifts that enhance his mission now as the Chief Shepherd of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics. We thank God for the many intellectual talents and spiritual qualities, pastoral experience and effective ministry of the new Pope.
When Jesus ascended to heaven, he did not leave us orphans. Rather, he gave us his new Body, the Church, led by his Vicar, and he sent the Holy Spirit who gives his gifts to the successors of Peter and the other Apostles and sustains the Church today. The blessing the Holy Father brings to us – and the reason why we salute him so joyfully – is the reaffirmation of our Catholic faith, grounded in the apostolic succession and tradition.
Pope Francis is more than just the successor to Benedict XVI; he is the successor to all those who came before him in an unbroken line going all the way back to Peter. In Pope Francis, we recognize the successor to Peter and the visible sign of the unity of the Church spread throughout the whole world. He is the touchstone for the mission, message and tradition of the Church.
We offer thanks to God for sending us Pope Francis as the Church continues in the Year of Faith and as we face the challenges and opportunities of proposing the Gospel to today’s world.
May God bring to fruitful completion what he has so wonderfully begun in the selection today of Pope Francis.
“The papacy has moved to the New World. The church has a new pope with a new name. I think it speaks to the church’s commitment to the poor of the world and compassion in a world that often needs a lot of healing.”
Jesus is encountered, just as 2,000 years ago, in a human presence, the Church, the company of those whom He assimilates to Himself, His Body, the sign and sacrament of His Presence. …
It is a question of starting to say ["Yes"] to Christ, and saying it often. It is impossible to desire it without asking for it. And if someone starts to ask for it, then he begins to change. Besides, if someone asks for it, it is because in the depths of his being he feels attracted, called, looked at, awaited. This is the experience of Augustine: there from the depths of my being, something attracts me toward Someone who looked for me first, is waiting for me first, is the almond flower of the prophets, the first to bloom in spring. It is the quality which God possesses and which I take the liberty of defining by using a Buenos Aires word: God, in this case Jesus Christ, always primerea, goes ahead of us. When we arrive, He is already there waiting.
Great find. Read it all.
5:25pm EST Rocco calls it “epic”:
For the cardinal-electors to have gone out of Europe for the first time in over a millennium, to have gone to a Jesuit for the first time ever, and to have gone to the runner-up at the last Conclave in all of five ballots – with more than half the electorate changed over since last time – is not merely decisive….
Indeed, it’s epic.
And make no mistake about it – this is a mandate.
5:39pm EST: Final update: an interview with Cardinal Bergoglio.