Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would see a Jesuit Pope emerge from the Sistine Chapel this time around. A Latin American Pope, perhaps, but not a Jesuit. After all, he was the sole Jesuit elector, and of an age that would seem to exclude him. So to hear Cardinal Tauran announce his name Georgium Marium (Jorge Mario) was most surprising. And then to hear that he had chosen the name of Francis of Assisi captured my heart and imagination. The other gestures and his simple style on that first evening were also impressive—no ermine-fringed mozzetta or elaborate pectoral cross, the request for prayer. It all spoke of simplicity, humility and a desire for closeness to the poor. Of course, Cardinal Bergoglio is not your typical Latin American Jesuit—if indeed there is such a thing. He is a controversial figure among some of his brother Jesuits because of his critical stance to some changes in the order since Vatican II. And so I wonder how he will relate to the Society in the future. Be that as it may, I think this could be a great choice for the Church: a son of Piedmontese immigrants to be bishop of Rome, an Argentinian bishop of a world-class metropolis who knows both the challenges of secularization and the gift of the poor for the Church. ¡Que viva Francisco!
Bendice Señor al Papa Francisco a quien has llamado “del fin del mundo” para ser obispo de Roma. Que la humildad y la cercanía a los más necesitados de San Francisco de Asís lo inspiren en su liderazgo de la Iglesia universal. Que el discernimiento de espíritus de su padre San Ignacio caracterice su modo de proceder para mayor honor y gloria de Dios. Y que Nuestra Señora de Luján lo ponga y mantenga unido a tu Hijo Crucificado y Resucitado de entre los muertos hoy y siempre.
Fr. Claudio Burgaleta, SJ