A big day for the Catholic Church today. Sometime earlier today white smoke billowed from the Sistine Chapel's temporary chimney, signaling to the thousands who stood in St Peters Square that a new Pope has been elected by the 115 cardinals that were sequestered inside.
It was Day 2 of the conclave.
Coincidentally, just hours before the conclave in Rome came to a decision, Day 3 of the tug boat conclave came to an unfortunate end due to lack of interest. Brad didn't want to play conclave anymore.
So we have no choice but to acknowledge the decision made by the cardinals in Rome and welcome Jorge Bergoglio from Buenos Aires, as the new Pope. Jeez, one day you're Jorge and living in a modest apartment and the next day your the Pope. Talk about a buzz!
It was reported that while in Argentina, Jorge chose not to live in the archbishop's palace but instead lived in a modest apartment. He didn't have a chauffeured limo, but he could have if he wanted one. Rather, he took the bus to work and he cooked his own meals. Upon hearing all of this I thought, this guy sounds pretty cool.
I was hoping the electors in the Sistine Chapel would really stir things up and vote for a young Pope. You know, a guy maybe 30 years younger than the 76 year old Jorge. Someone who could bring new energy and modernize the church a bit. For those who think the church shouldn't be modernized, I understand and respect where you're coming from, I just don't happen to agree. I think they missed an opportunity here. Hey, I know a lot of very cool 70 something year old people, but I'm afraid none of them are in the Vatican at this moment.
I did like the fact that Pope Francis sort of changed things up a little, broke from the usual tradition of a newly elected Pope walking out on the balcony, waving to the crowd and then immediately blessing the thousands of people below. Instead, Pope Francis went to the balcony and before anything, he asked the crowd to pray silently...for him.
Some think these little tradition breakers are a sign that things may change. I appreciate the changes but the fact is Pope Francis is a supporter of the conservative wing of the church and a guy who opposes gay marriage and the use of contraceptives. If anyone thinks it will be anything other than business as usual in the Catholic Church, I wouldn't get your hopes up.
They say the Pope is a defender of the poor. I'm just thinking here, but maybe he should rethink that contraceptive stand of his. More contraceptives, less poor. One of the first things an organization does that goes to an impoverished country to address poverty, is to pass out contraceptives. Just saying.
I'll be waiting anxiously to hear what Pope Francis has to say in the next couple of days. I'm hoping to hear something like, "the sex abuse scandals that have rocked my precious church over the last few years will come to an end with me serving as your Pope. There will be no more lies, secrets and cover ups. Those found guilty will be excommunicated and prosecuted. bare with me as I restore our church to it's former glory."
For Pope Francis not to mention the Church's recent problems publicly, it would be like President Obama taking office the first time he was elected and not mentioning we had an economic crisis to deal with.
I'm in a sort of wait and see kinda mode.
I wish Pope Francis all the luck in the world, and I'll say a prayer for him tonight.