By Therese Porod
After the unexpected news of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, people awaited the next move of the Church. The world tuned in as everyone’s eyes were on the little chimney that would signal the decision of the conclave.
White smoke finally rose on March 13th, signaling the conclusion of a chaotic couple of days. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina was announced as the world’s new pope, given the name Pope Francis.
Pope Francis, age 76, has the honor of being the 266th pope and also the first pope from South America, according to foxnews.com. Another unique aspect about Pope Francis is that he is also the first Jesuit pope, according to nbcnews.com.
In the Catholic New World, the Jesuits were said to be in the front of the Catholic Reformation against Protestantism in the 16th century, which may have played a role in the decision of the conclave.
The world is at peace of mind with the appointment of the new pope. With much anticipation, there were between 150,000 and 200,000 people who recently attended the pope’s inaugural mass in Rome, according to foxnews.com.
Throughout the news, Pope Francis has demonstrated to be conservative on certain social issues, such as same-sex marriage, abortion, and adoption. One of the issues that Pope Francis has focused most of his life around is poverty.
“What is wonderful is that he is calling attention to the poor and the great inequality that exists between the poor and the rich in the United States and the world. This attention to the ‘preferential option for the poor’ has been missing from emphasis in the United States for the last thirty years,” stated Mark Kurowski, Director of University Ministry at Benedictine.
According to nbcnews.com, Pope Francis gave up his chauffer when he was in Argentina to ride the bus, which demonstrates his values for the lower classes.
“Pope Francis has made gestures that are sure to cast a light on who the poor are, where they live among us. That makes me somewhat hopeful,” explained Kurowski.