More about the new Pope

NewPope

Having become archbishop of Buenos Aires 1998, he left empty the sumptuous episcopal residence next to the cathedral. He went to live in an apartment a short distance away, together with another elderly bishop. In the evening he was the one who saw to the cooking. He rarely rode in cars, getting around by bus in the cassock of an ordinary priest.

But he is also a man who knows how to govern. With firmness and against the tide. He is a Jesuit – the first to have become pope – and during the terrible 1970’s, when the dictatorship was raging and some of his confrères were ready to embrace the rifle and apply the lessons of Marx, he energetically opposed the tendency as provincial of the Society of Jesus in Argentina.

He has always carefully kept his distance from the Roman curia. It is certain that he will want it to be lean, clean, and loyal.

He is a pastor of sound doctrine and of concrete realism. To the Argentines reduced to hunger he has given much more than bread. He has urged them to pick the catechism back up again. That of the ten commandments and of the beatitudes. “This is the way of Jesus,” he would say. And one who follows Jesus understands that “trampling the dignity of a woman, of a man, of a child, of an elderly person is a grave sin that cries out to heaven,” and therefore decides to do it no more.

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