Hop on pop — Bergoglio now ‘Pope Francis’

Er, I mean, habemas papem.

White smoke at the Vatican. CNN is killing time waiting for news of who has just been chosen as the new pope and head of the Roman Catholic Church.

So if you’re reading this, you were snubbed yet again.

I defer to SNAP, which provides a list of “promising prelates” as well as a list of a “dirty dozen” cardinals they do not want to see become pope.

Update: And the winner is …

Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, archbishop of Buenos Aires and a Jesuit. His Wikipedia entry is already labeled “Pope Francis.”

Here’s hoping Pope Francis lives up to his namesake.

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  • Amaryllis

    Xavier or Assisi — or both — it’s an extremely interesting choice.

    But we’ll see.

    (And wish my father was still alive, to enjoy sharing his name with a Pope.)


  • Scott de Brestian

    I wanted Pope Sixtus VI.

  • .. Now I want to see Pope George Romero.

    “I’ll show you a resurrection!

  • Michael Cule

    Hmm, Jesuits swear an oath of special allegiance to the Pope and…

    My theological circuits just went very self-referential…

  • Launcifer

    Well, if nothing else it’d confirm that Hell was full ;).

  • MaryKaye

    If I were named Pope I’d give serious consideration to being Magdalene the First.  

  • Carstonio

     I can understand the disappointment at the new pope not choosing Assisi, but how bad was Xavier? Hard to tell from Wikipedia.

  • The one encouraging thing I’ve read about him: 
    On unmarried mothers:”In our ecclesiastical region there are priests who don’t baptise the children of single mothers because they weren’t conceived in the sanctity of marriage. These are today’s hypocrites. Those who clericalise the church. Those who separate the people of God from salvation. And this poor girl who, rather than returning the child to sender, had the courage to carry it into the world, must wander from parish to parish so that it’s baptised!”(via http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/13/pope-francis-quotations-by-him-about-him )So in at least one context, he gets the idea of welcoming and supporting those who want to be part of your community. One can only hope he learns to apply that logic consistently across all those who come to his churches; to gays and lesbians, for instance.

  • *sigh* Well, points for a South American Pope.

    Negative points for a junta-supporting Pope.

    If I had a Pope name I’d pick Pope Nullus.

    Because that’s what the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church ought to be.

  • Dash1

     I think it would be a lot more fun to insist on being called “Magdalene II.” Red beanies, they would be exploding all over the place! (And that would be most festive.)

  •  The media (BBC and CNN, at least) is
    reporting the name as coming from Francis Assisi, not Xavier. CNN
    supposedly is quoting a Vatican spokesperson:http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2013/03/13/cardinals-elect-new-pope/comment-page-19/

  •  The media (BBC and CNN, at least) is
    reporting the name as coming from Francis Assisi, not Xavier. CNN
    supposedly is quoting a Vatican spokesperson:http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2013/03/13/cardinals-elect-new-pope/comment-page-19/

  • Steve Morrison


    I wanted Pope Sixtus VI.

    Find some way to work in another six, just to freak out Ellandjay and their fans!

  • I’ll admit I would like Linus II as well, or Sylvester V, but you tipped your hand in that the headline writers would have no end of field days with the jokes.

  • Jesuit emphasis. Of course, I would love a Pope who spoke for the voiceless, but I’m an outsider here.

  • My dad actually called me up not long after the announcement to ask how it was that a Jesuit could be pope’d, since he was pretty sure that the Jesuits and the Vatican didn’t typically get along.

    Based on his positions vis a vis All The Standard Terrible Things The Vatican Takes A Firm Stance For, I suspect he’s flexible on most of the things about the Society of Jesus that make them unpopular with the higher-ups.

    But hey, we’ve got an eldery, cranky, gay-rights-opposing, contraception-fighting celibate old man as pope. Color me surprised. Second verse, same as the first.

    (I was of course hoping that the new pope would immediately reveal that his entire career so far had been an elaborate hoax in order to get him ultimately elected to the papacy, and that his first act as supreme pontiff  would be to ordain a woman, who would officiate his marriage to his long-time boyfriend over in the basillica, before handing over half the church’s money to buy condoms for the third world and to set up a fund to pay reparations to the victims of sexual abuse by the clergy.  If that had happened, I’d hop on my flying unicorn and go to rome in person to cheer.)

  • Ian

    Bergoglio collaborated in the murder of political prisoners.  I’m not talking about complicity through passive silence.  He informed the military that two of his monks were no longer under his protection, after which they were murdered.  On another occasion he hid political prisoners in his holiday home so that Amnesty International would not find them and report on their disappearance.  Naming himself after Francis of Assisi is obscene.

  •  Given that his parents are Italian and he was born in the 30s, is it too late to start a rumor that he was actually born in italy and snuck into argentina with falsified records because his parents were italian fascists and were on the lam after the fall of Mussolini? I mean, Argentina was a popular destination for fleeing fascists. Have we seen his long-form baptisimal certificate?

  • banancat

     How very generous of him for pitying those poor girls which single mothers must automatically be, and allowing them to have their kids baptized (so long as they are properly ashamed of their status, no doubt).  I’m so sick of giving credit to people who aren’t quite as reprehensible as they could be.  The standard sure is low among Catholic officials.  I suppose I should also pat him on the back for not directly raping children?

  • Brilliant idea, sir. I recommend it wholeheartedly. :)

  • I don’t think anyone wants to pat him on the back, banancat . I think we’re all clutching at whatever grounds for hope we can find that there will be even small changes in the right direction.

  • Well, that kind of thing hardly slowed Ratzinger down, did it?

  • Tricksterson

    Asmodeus I

  • Launcifer

    I… well, I never thought I’d need to ask this question when discussing the potential name of even an imaginary Pope: Are you thinking of the Demon King there or the Interrogator Chaplain from the Dark Angels space marines?

  • Tricksterson

    Maybe Belial

  • Tapetum

    Pope Brian

  • Keulan

    I finally got a chance to look him up, and apparently Francis is anti-gay, anti-abortion, and anti-euthanasia. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

  • Y’know, even before hiding political prisoners there, naming your private island “The Silence” is like total supervillain mastermind shit. 

  • Sigaloenta

     Not to mention owning a freaking private island in the first place!

  • Katie

     To be fair, he has spoken out against child abuse, and did hand over pedophile priests to the secular authorities rather than hushing things up.  He’s also know to have lived very modestly-one bedroom apartment in a poorer neighborhood, no domestic help, did his own housekeeping. 
    I’m not *thrilled* with his election, but it could have been worse.  Honestly, at this point I’d be happy with someone who will say “Ok, it isn’t enough to hate the gays and condoms, you also need to take care of poor people.”  And  it looks like this guy might do that.

  • Hexep

    With regards to people who lead churches, how does the world at large feel about HAH Bartholomew I, Patriarch of Constantinople? I’ve never heard anyone say anything bad about him, but, to be fair, I haven’t heard anyone say much of anything about him.

  • to have lived very modestly-one bedroom apartment in a poorer neighborhood, no domestic help, did his own housekeeping.

    That kinda doesn’t square with the James-Bond-villainesque secret island named “Secret” in Spanish.

  • Joel-goldman

     Not being judgmental are you?

  • reynard61

    Ponytheism recognizes no Pope, but if it did it would probably be Pope Twilight I.

  • reynard61

    “(…I)s it too late to start a rumor that he was actually born in italy and snuck into argentina with falsified records because his parents were italian fascists and were on the lam after the fall of Mussolini?”

    Yep, pretty much. For one thing, Mussolini wasn’t overthrown until 1943. (And wasn’t killed until 1945.) Better to indict him for crimes that he *did* commit than try to hang him for something that it would have been historically difficult-to-impossible for him to have done. That would just be downright Birtheristic, wouldn’t it?

  • Turcano

    You need to get out of my head.

  • Tom

    I don’t want to be needlessly pessimistic, but so much of the reporting here in the UK about the new pope has been along the lines of ‘of course he’s
    homophobic, but what do you expect – other than that he seems like a
    nice guy!’

    If Nick Griffin was replaced as the leader of the BNP (British National Party – our reviled racist fringe political party)
    by a man who was equally as racist but also passionate about ending
    homelessness and poverty would we all be saying ‘well, he’s racist…
    but what did you expect – other than that let’s give the guy a chance!’

    not that I’m not used to being thrown on the bonfire, I’ve grown up
    during a time where my rights and my love have been attacked far more
    often than they’ve been celebrated… I just find it sad that even today
    such attacks on the very existence of 1 in 16 people are brushed aside
    so easily.

    Yay! go pope!

  • christopher_y

    Or would they eventually get bored and go home?

    A couple of years ago the Belgians took about 18 months after an election to agree a coalition which could form a government. So we’ve got a precedent. As far as I can remember the world’s media started seeing it as a story after about three weeks, and they got bored and went home after four or five months.  (presumably the Belgian media paid more attention, but even so, how much can you say after a few months?)
    Meanwhile the civil servants just kept on keeping on.

  • christopher_y

    Linus II would be good for a technologically literate pope.

  • JustMe

    It wasn’t his island.  Verbitsky makes the accusation in his book “El Silencia”  that Argentine clerical officials hid Navy officials on an island in the Plate (and whether it’s true or not, I don’t know).

    Then, in 2011, Hugh O’Shaughnessy at the Guardian wrote an opinion piece about the Argentine Church and their role during the dictatorship where he repeats Verbitsky’s accusation, but includes the claim that the island was Bergoglio’s holiday home and that he helped hide political prisoners there from human rights officials.  But that wasn’t in Verbitsky’s book.

    The guardian went on to remove the unsourced claim from the piece.  Here’s the old Guardian story, corrected.


    “This article was amended on 14 March 2013. The original article, published in 2011, suggested that Argentinian journalist Horacio Verbitsky claimed that Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio connived with the Argentinian navy to hide political prisoners on an island called El Silencio during an inspection by human rights monitors. Although Verbitsky makes other allegations about Bergoglio’s complicity in human right abuses, he does not make this claim. The original article also wrongly described El Silencio as Bergoglio’s “holiday home”.”

  • Hexep

    Well, on the other hand, you’re talking about the BNP. What would you expect him to believe? If he believed something different, then he wouldn’t be a member of the BNP.

    It’s the same with the new Pope. If he believed in things like human equality, justice, the due fellowship of the whole human race*, and the like, then he wouldn’t be a Catholic, or at the very least he wouldn’t be a Cardinal.

    *In ages long past, I would have typed ‘the brotherhood of man,’ that being a popular slogan at the time. Recognizing the exclusivity of such a saying, I opted to replace it with the above, which I think has an excellent poetic ring to it.

  • arcseconds

    OK, we’ve got a Pope.

    It’s about time we had an anti-Pope, isn’t it?

    This time we could do some experiments… 

  • JessicaR

    Aw shoot, I was hoping they’d let the Borgias have another crack at it. 

  • Rowen

     My ninth grade theology teacher (Jesuit high school) said “Of the pope’s who take descriptive names like Innocent, or Benedict or whatever, many of them end up being the opposite.”

  • Robert Ruger

    It was an honor just to be nominated. 

  • And Francis Borgia.

  • VMink

    Well, we already kind of know the general spin of Popes. Colliding a pope and an antipope might make for an interesting experiment at the LPC (Large Papal Collider) but I don’t know how much energy it would take to get them in the same room.

    For real obscure RPG references, I say we go with Pope Jean Malreaux I, Cyberpope of Avignon.  We’d at least get French-flavored cyberpunk out of it.

  • Tom

     Of course, but if it were the BNP people would be saying ‘it doesn’t matter that he’s good in other areas, he’s still a dangerous racist’ rather than brushing it aside like they are doing here

  • Such a shame they didn’t go with electing Oprah  or rather, Poprah Winfrey, isn’t it? :P

  • Lori

    Well sure. Because the only choice is between yet another raging bigot and Oprah.

    To the extent that this is actually the choice  it reflects fair more poorly on the Church and its lack of any non-bigots in leadership positions, than it does on the people who object to the raging bigot.