The new pontiff: Pope Francis
Out of 115 came one.
The College of Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church on Wednesday elected, on the fifth ballot, Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the new “supreme pontiff.”
The church's new “vicar of Christ,” 76, chose Francis as his papal name, after St. Francis of Assisi, which evokes, yes, poverty, humility and simplicity but also rebirth. And that more than suggests that reform-minded cardinals prevailed in the conclave and found the change agent, albeit a humble one, whom they had sought.
The selection of the new pontiff, the archbishop of Buenos Aires, the first to take the name of Francis and the first Jesuit and non-European pope since the first, Peter, is a reflection of the Catholic Church's shift to a Latin American center. And he certainly has his work cut out for himself.
Indeed, Francis must continue to address the horrible pedophilia scandal that has rocked the church for far too long (a scandal, by the way, that never befell the Argentine church). And he must also address the turmoil and scandals within the Roman curia — the administration of the church, “The Knot,” as some call it — that have left their taint in some of the highest circles of the Holy See.
The greatest challenge for Pope Francis, however, is the eternal one for Catholicism and common to every pope since Peter — how to keep Catholic principles not only practiced but relevant in a society of ever and often rapidly changing mores and folkways.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- The regulatory state: EPA picks a fight
- A manger’s light
- Holiday Gift Club: The spirit of the season
- Ford City’s solution: Good side to cop cuts
- Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances
- Alle-Kiski Laurels & Lances
- Obama’s Cuba deal: More appeasement
- Election 2015: Local leaders needed
- The Kathleen Kane chronicles: New and serious questions are being raised about the Pa. attorney general
- The gift
- Greensburg Laurels & Lances