I am not a Roman Catholic, but I am praying that what has happened today in Rome will be the start of some spiritual engagements in our world. The first Latin American elected to be Pope who took the name Francis. Francis the First since no one has ever done that. Perhaps because to commit to the lifestyle of Francis is more difficult than being the Pope.
From what I am hearing in these brief hours, Francis I does seem to be one who has taken up the cause of the poor. He has been as humble as his namesake in many ways. He asks for silence in prayer from the people to him. A nice beginning.
What next? Well, we have a long way to got o find the answer to that, of course. He is 76 years old and is not a young man. He has a strong conservative doctrine (which may not play well in some American quarters.) Yet he is a man of the people and a strong advocate for social justice, I have heard. That will be a good and interesting mixture. Can he be strong in light of the incredibly complex and difficult issues facing our modern world- and his own church? Can his witness be such that other churches and the wide diversity of Christianity can find some common grounds in caring for the poor?
May be have the strength needed to be the kind of Pope the world needs! Amen.