Posts Tagged ‘Pope Francis’
As Jesuits across the United States watched in wonder as one of their own was elected to the papacy for the first time in history yesterday, it wasn’t long before the phones started ringing as news outlets called upon American Jesuits to comment on the significance of the unexpected and momentous news. From “CBS This Morning” and USA Today to NBCNews.com and The Boston Globe to daily newspapers and local news affiliates across the country, Jesuits were asked to reflect on the significance of the election of Pope Francis.
Jesuit Father Matt Malone, editor of America magazine, and Jesuit Father Tom Reese were barraged with media requests in Rome, and Jesuit Father James Martin appeared on many outlets, including CNN.com and NPR. Many Jesuits expressed shock, saying they never thought they’d see a Jesuit pope.
Jesuit Father Scott Pilarz, president of Marquette University in Milwaukee, appeared on “CBS This Morning” where he said friends had recently asked him if there would ever be a Jesuit pope and he responded, “Absolutely not.”
But, Fr. Pilarz continued, “In extraordinary moments and times, the church has looked to members of the Society of Jesus to play these leadership roles. I think it’s recognition that the church is at one of those moments.”
Jesuit Father Gerard Stockhausen, executive secretary of the Jesuit Conference USA, told Catholic News Service that when Cardinal Bergoglio’s name was announced from the Vatican balcony, he didn’t realize immediately that it was a fellow member of the Society of Jesus.
“Jesuits generally don’t seek higher offices in the church,” Fr. Stockhausen said. “There are relatively few who are bishops, even. We don’t ordinarily take on those posts.”
Jesuit Father Robert Ballecer of the Jesuit Conference explained to NPR why so many were surprised — but why it wasn’t impossible for a Jesuit to be elected. “We have a vow that we will not seek out office. But there have been cases where offices seek us out,” Fr. Ballecer said.
Jesuit Father Michael Sheeran, president-elect of the American Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, described the new pope and his Jesuit principles to NBCNews.com. “Pope Francis took the bus to work every day. He sold the cardinal’s residence and lived in a small apartment where he cooked for himself.”
“That simplicity hides a steely determination to advance Jesuit principles, especially on the importance of traditional Catholic teachings and protection of the poor and the oppressed,” Fr. Sheeran said.
Jesuit Father Michael Garanzini, president of Loyola University Chicago, told The Chicago Tribune that he could envision Francis championing the poor from his position as pontiff.
“Coming out of Latin America, he is very familiar with the plight of the disadvantaged where the divide between rich and poor is very striking,” he said.
Jesuit Father Jack Butler, vice president for mission and ministry at Boston College, told The Boston Globe he was both shocked and excited. “I was flabbergasted, because Jesuits aren’t supposed to be popes, and Jesuits aren’t supposed to be bishops, and yet I’d be lying through my teeth if I didn’t say as a Jesuit it gave me a great sense of joy and pride.”
Jesuit Father Douglas Marcouiller, provincial for the Missouri Province Jesuits, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the Jesuits “don’t generally serve as bishops unless the circumstances are rather unusual. I think that that there is a tradition of not seeking roles that require a good deal of power, in order to serve the poor.”
Fr. Marcouiller added, “I think it is quite clear that Pope Francis has the gift of humility that will allow him to use that power and to exercise that ministry in a very effective way.”
He admitted that seeing a Jesuit in the robes of a pope would take some getting used to. “I think it will be a shock for the entire order,” Fr. Marcouiller said with a laugh.
Jesuit Father Kevin O’Brien, vice president for mission and ministry at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., helped explain the Society of Jesus to several major news outlets, including Time magazine and USA Today. “Most people will know of Jesuits because of their schools,” Fr. O’Brien said.
“To be a Jesuit today is to serve the church and the world,” Fr. O’Brien told USA Today. “The church has been sidetracked by sexual and financial scandals. Now, it’s about getting back to the basics. It’s about preaching the gospel and helping the poor.”
Jesuit Father Myles Sheehan, provincial of the New England Province Jesuits, told the West Hartford News, “Although we are, of course, excited about the Holy Father’s Jesuit roots, we are more excited about his ministry to the Universal Church and pray for courage and wisdom for him as he begins this journey of faith.”
Below is video of Fr. Pilarz’s appearance on “CBS This Morning”.
In the name of the Society of Jesus, I give thanks to God for the election of our new Pope, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J., which opens for the Church a path full of hope.
All of us Jesuits accompany with our prayers our brother and we thank him for his generosity in accepting the responsibility of guiding the Church at this crucial time. The name of “Francis” by which we shall now know him evokes for us the Holy Father’s evangelical spirit of closeness to the poor, his identification with simple people, and his commitment to the renewal of the Church. From the very first moment in which he appeared before the people of God, he gave visible witness to his simplicity, his humility, his pastoral experience and his spiritual depth.
“The distinguishing mark of our Society is that it is . . . a companionship . . . bound to the Roman Pontiff by a special bond of love and service.” (Complementary Norms, No. 2, § 2) Thus, we share the joy of the whole Church, and at the same time, wish to express our renewed availability to be sent into the vineyard of the Lord, according to the spirit of our special vow of obedience, that so distinctively unites us with the Holy Father (General Congregation 35, Decree 1, No. 17).
P. Adolfo Nicolás S.J.
Rome, 14 March 2013
By Francis X. Rocca
Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76 was elected the 266th pope and took the name Francis.
The election March 13 came on the first full day of the conclave on the conclave’s fifth ballot. It was a surprisingly quick conclusion to a conclave that began with many plausible candidates and no clear favorite.
The Latin American pope, a Jesuit, was chosen by at least two-thirds of the 115 cardinals from 48 countries, who cast their ballots in secret in the Sistine Chapel.
His election was announced in Latin from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica, to a massive crowd in the square below and millions watching around the world.
White smoke poured from the Sistine Chapel chimney at 7:05 p.m. signaling that the cardinals had chosen a successor to retired Pope Benedict XVI. At 7:07 p.m., the bells of St. Peter’s Basilica began pealing continuously to confirm the election.
At 8:12 p.m., French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the senior cardinal in the order of deacons, appeared at the basilica balcony and read out in Latin: “I announce to you a great joy: We have a pope! The most eminent and most reverend lord, Lord Jorge, Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, Bergoglio, who has taken for himself the name Francis.”
The crowd in the square responded with cheers, applause and the waving of national flags.
A respected Italian journal said he was the cardinal with the second-highest number of votes on each of the four ballots in the 2005 conclave.
Cardinal Bergoglio has had a growing reputation as a very spiritual man with a talent for pastoral leadership serving in a region with the largest number of the world’s Catholics.
Since 1998, he has been archbishop of Buenos Aires, where his style is low-key and close to the people.
He rides the bus, visits the poor, lives in a simple apartment and cooks his own meals. To many in Buenos Aires, he is known simply as “Father Jorge.”
He also has created new parishes, restructured the administrative offices, led pro-life initiatives and started new pastoral programs, such as a commission for divorcees. He co-presided over the 2001 Synod of Bishops and was elected to the synod council, so he is well-known to the world’s bishops.
The cardinal has also written books on spirituality and meditation and has been outspoken against abortion and same-sex marriages.
In 2010, when Argentina became the first Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage, Cardinal Bergoglio encouraged clergy across the country to tell Catholics to protest against the legislation because, if enacted, it could “seriously injure the family,” he said.
He also said adoption by same-sex couples would result in “depriving (children) of the human growth that God wanted them given by a father and a mother.”
In 2006, he criticized an Argentine proposal to legalize abortion under certain circumstances as part of a wide-ranging legal reform. He accused the government of lacking respect for the values held by the majority of Argentines and of trying to convince the Catholic Church “to waver in our defense of the dignity of the person.”
His role often forced him to speak publicly about the economic, social and political problems facing his country. His homilies and speeches are filled with references to the fact that all people are brothers and sisters and that the church and the country need to do what they can to make sure that everyone feels welcome, respected and cared for.
While not overtly political, Cardinal Bergoglio has not tried to hide the political and social impact of the Gospel message, particularly in a country still recovering from a serious economic crisis.
Since becoming archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998, Cardinal Bergoglio has created new parishes, restructured the administrative offices, taken personal care of the seminary and started new pastoral projects, such as the commission for divorcees. He has mediated in almost all social or political conflicts in the city; the newly ordained priests are described as “the Bergoglio generation”; and no political or social figure misses requesting a private encounter with him.
Jorge Bergoglio was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina’s capital city, Dec. 17, 1936.
He studied and received a master’s degree in chemistry at the University of Buenos Aires, but later decided to become a Jesuit priest and studied at the Jesuit seminary of Villa Devoto.
He studied liberal arts in Santiago, Chile, and in 1960 earned a degree in philosophy from the Catholic University of Buenos Aires. Between 1964 and 1965 he was a teacher of literature and psychology at Inmaculada high school in the province of Santa Fe, and in 1966 he taught the same courses at the prestigious Colegio del Salvador in Buenos Aires.
In 1967, he returned to his theological studies and was ordained a priest Dec. 13, 1969. After his perpetual profession as a Jesuit in 1973, he became master of novices at the Seminary of Villa Barilari in San Miguel. Later that same year, he was elected superior of the Jesuit province of Argentina.
In 1980, he returned to San Miguel as a teacher at the Jesuit school, a job rarely taken by a former provincial superior. In May 1992 he was appointed auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires. He was one of three auxiliaries and he kept a low profile, spending most of his time caring for the Catholic university, counseling priests and preaching and hearing confessions.
On June 3, 1997, he was named coadjutor archbishop. He was installed as the new archbishop of Buenos Aires Feb. 28, 1998.
Some controversy had arisen over the position taken by Cardinal Bergoglio during Argentina’s 1976-1983 military dictatorship, which cracked down brutally on political opponents. Estimates of the number of people killed and forcibly disappeared during those years range from about 13,000 to more than 30,000.
Citing a case in which two young priests were detained by the military regime, critics say that the cardinal, who was Jesuit provincial at the time, did not do enough to support church workers against the military dictatorship.
Others, however, have said that he attempted to negotiate behind the scenes for the priests’ release, and a spokesman for the cardinal, quoted in the daily newspaper La Nacion, called the accusation “old slander.”