New Pope begins presidency with first public address
Habemus Papam – as the ancient cry goes – we have a Pope.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio, former Argentinian cardinal, is a Pope of firsts. He is the first Pope from the Americas, the first Jesuit and the first to take the name Francis. The question of the day is how his presidency over the Catholic Church will differ from that of his predecessor – Joseph Ratzinger, former Pope Benedict XVI.
Pope Francis spoke with a quiet humility at his first public address as Pope on Wednesday 13th March when he was revealed as the newly-elected Pope. A humble man intensely concerned with the condition of the impoverished the world over, as Archbishop in Buenos Aires he forwent the traditional mansion and private car and travelled on public transport and lived in a small apartment. Many believe he will shake up the perceived pomposity of the Vatican.
The first Jesuit to become Pope since the order was founded nearly 500 years ago, the Jesuits – or Society of Jesus – are a group of Catholic priests who take vows of self-imposed poverty and who emphasise missionary and scholarly work within the church, interfaith dialogue and free thinking.
At his first mass with the cardinals on the Thursday following his election the Pope emphasised the religious centre of the Vatican administration – warning that without following the teachings of Jesus and the Gospels the church ran the risk of becoming simply another humanitarian NGO (Non-Government Organisation) or charity.
Hours before the mass Pope Francis had stopped into the hotel he had stayed in prior to his election to pay the hotel bill in a gesture of humbleness and simplicity he wishes to use as an example to the rest of the Church.