Welcome, Pope of Many Firsts!



Welcome, Pope Francis I  (Dare I say, “Pope Frank?”)

As the world knows, Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was chosen to succeed Pope Benedict XVI.  Cardinal Bergoglio is the first Jesuit, the first cardinal from Latin America – or either of the Americas –  to be elected Pope, and the first to choose the name Francis.

I join our Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Shori in welcoming Pope Francis I, and in praying that he will be “open to the possibility of constructive dialogue and cooperation between our churches.”  Only good can come from such openness and dialogue.

Prayers for us all.

Peace friends,


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  • Jim M says:

    My wife was elated when Bergoglio was elected. Not on many “top five” lists. Then the NYT and others began looking into his tenure in Argentina, and quite another story begins to emerge, corroborated by Argentine sources. Skeletons in his closet will soon begin to appear….including implicit collusion with the Argentine junta when 30,000 were killed or disappeared, including two “worker priest” Jesuits of his own order when he was head of Jesuits in the country. My sister-in-law’s aunt was killed during that period, her father left for the US with a death sentence on his head, and her cousins were hunted but survived. And the church did little.

    We are reserving judgment. Certainly not on the side or women or gays. I’d like the new pope to answer the eloquent question the auxiliary bishop of Richmond posed at your reception ceremony: how wide are the arms of Christ?

  • Jim Wright says:

    I was actually thinking a couple days ago that Francis would be a great name (not surprising given my confirmation name is Francis) for the new Pope. Such a humble example of servant leadership!! I also loved that after the election, the new Pope decided to ride in the bus with the other cardinals INSTEAD of riding in the papal limo. AND, I LOVED how he asked for our prayers for him. Clearly a man that understands the power of prayer. Awesome!!! I don’t have rose colored glasses that there will be monumental changes, but if nothing else we have a more compassionate example of Christ’s love on earth.

  • Rose says:

    Indeed, echo the welcome, was definitely not expecting this! He seems a man of integrity and humility – but, of course, his actions obviously will speak volumes. When he first came out on the balcony last night I did a double take – he reminded me a bit of Paul VI.

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