CARDINALS CHOOSE NEW POPE – White smoke billowed from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel indicating to the people that the 115 Cardinals had chosen a new Pope to lead the Roman Catholic Church.
At 6pm GMT, and after just two days of voting the new Pontiff is named as Argentine Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who was the residing Archbishop of Buenos Aires. The Pontiff will take the new name, as Pope, Francis I.
Pope Francis I is the first non-European every to be elected and at 7.15pm GMT he stood before a packed St. Peters Square to address the crowds.
The question that now needs answering is if Pope Francis I can restore the image of the Church and find a way to please its 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide.
I am often amiss at how the Church continues to make statements that it sought a Pope that could restore the image of the Catholic Church. It is plain to see, for anyone who cares to read history books that the Catholic Church has swam in a sea of blood over the centuries and is responsible for unimaginable crimes against humanity including genocide. I suppose if you kill an individual you are a murderer but if you kill millions you are a martyr.
Bring the Catholic Church out of the dark ages and while things have changed, it appears the change is only in direction. Today the Church is embroiled with accusations of child molestation, debauchery, murder and corruption.
Considering the past and present image of the Catholic Church maybe his Holiness would do well to consider creating an entirely different image of the Catholic Church; one of decency, love, giving and above all faith, instead of trying to restore an image that has been directly responsible for genocide and the misery of millions of people.
So what’s the new Pope like? In my view Jorge Mario Bergoglio rise to power is already in question. On April 15, 2005, a human rights lawyer filed a criminal complaint against Bergoglio, accusing him of conspiring with the junta in 1976 to kidnap two Jesuit priests, whom he, as superior of the Society of Jesus of Argentina in 1976, had asked to leave their pastoral work following conflict within the Society over how to respond to the new military dictatorship, with some priests advocating a violent overthrow.
It feels almost as if the 115 Cardinals were unable to find just one man who does not have some past issue and if this is true, then it makes one wonder what the other candidates for the role had in their past.
When so many people put their faith, often blindly, into an organization that is rife with criminal activities and then elects a Pope who has been accused of such, it will no doubt leave many inside and outside of the Church completely disillusioned.