I think that I approve of Pope Francis.

He has an affinity for my favorite Saint.

Some people wanted to know why the Bishop of Rome wished to be called Francis. Some thought of Francis Xavier, Francis De Sales, and also Francis of Assisi. I will tell you the story. During the election, I was seated next to the Archbishop Emeritus of São Paolo and Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Clergy, Cardinal Claudio Hummes: a good friend, a good friend! When things were looking dangerous, he encouraged me. And when the votes reached two thirds, there was the usual applause, because the Pope had been elected. And he gave me a hug and a kiss, and said: “Don’t forget the poor!” And those words came to me: the poor, the poor. Then, right away, thinking of the poor, I thought of Francis of Assisi. Then I thought of all the wars, as the votes were still being counted, till the end. Francis is also the man of peace. That is how the name came into my heart: Francis of Assisi. For me, he is the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who loves and protects creation; these days we do not have a very good relationship with creation, do we? He is the man who gives us this spirit of peace, the poor man … How I would like a Church which is poor and for the poor!

Mind you, we undoubtedly have significant differences of political opinion. But I think that Francis’ instincts are sound.

3 thoughts on “I think that I approve of Pope Francis.”

  1. I’ve given the new guy a lot of thought… he’s got guts and – like you – I think his instincts are good.
    I also think that he’s going to present a whole different level than what U.S. Catholics are used to seeing … and frankly, that’s probably long overdue, given some of the U.S. bishops.

    1. Like you I was nervous. Also hearing he was a Jesuit(from South America) I though he was a liberal theology adherent. Luckily most of his training was in Europe and if John Paul II and Benedict had confidence in him, I’ll definitely give him a shot(not that there’s much of a choice).

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