The election of the new pope, Pope Francis, has set several precedents. This election marks the first time in history for a non-European pope to be elected, and the first time a pope has chosen the name Francis. The early reaction from those in St. Peter’s Square was one of true surprise and optimistic fervor. The Hispanic and Latin-American crowd were underrepresented within the square, but made up for their small size with their ecstatic cheers.
He is the first pope from the new world. Many have raised high hopes as to the conviction of this new pope towards possible reform. Pope Francis declared that his goal would be to open up the Church’s funds and resources to the poor and impoverished. A worthy goal, and the Catholic Church’s goal for over 2,000 years. Francis undoubtedly represents a great hope for the Third World and struggling nations within Latin America.
Some have already voiced concern of Francis being taken under the wings of the Italian cardinals, fearing a politicizing of the new pope. One thing is sure, Pope Francis has inherited a lot of problems and issues plaguing the Catholic Church. The faithful are now looking to this new Bishop of Rome with eager anticipation. We all wish him well and offer our prayers for his new role as Peter’s successor; after all, it isn’t easy filling the shoes of the fisherman.
Alex Bohnenkamp, senior, Notre Dame High School, Burlington
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