The pope is a what?
at 4:27pm by Joe Copeland
Pope Francis I is, in a sense, tied to the Jesuit colleges in the Northwest — Seattle and Gonzaga — since he is a member of the church's Jesuit order. But Jesuits almost never are bishops, much less cardinals. The president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, the Rev. George F. Lucey, sent out an email calling it "an historic day." The Rev. Pat Howell, S.J., rector of the Jesuit residence at Seattle U., will talk at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday about the new pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina. In an email, he said he's preparing furiously for the event (at Wyckoff Auditorium in the Bannan Building):
He is the first Jesuit ever elected Pope, and in this regard, it's rather unusual, since every Jesuit takes a simple vow not to seek or accept ecclesial honors, namely not to be a bishop. Exceptions are obviously made when the pope insists that this particular Jesuit is the right person for this diocese, [which happens] often enough in missionary countries where there are fewer priests. So not only is it unusual for a Jesuit to be a bishop. Until now, it's been unheard of for a Jesuit to be pope.
It's highly significant that he takes the name of Francis I. Francis of Assisi tried to more faithfully follow in the footsteps of Jesus with a life of great simplicity and poverty. The name also reminds us that the two highly successful interfaith gatherings of world religious leaders were both held at Assisi — one under John Paul II and the other under Benedict XVI. Assisi, the home of Francis, has come to symbolize the desire for peace and understanding among all people of faith.He also said the new pope has been active in social justice causes.Popes and conservatives have a history of distrusting the Jesuits for their scholarliness and engagement with the world. Joel Connelly of seattlepi.com has a balanced, somewhat upbeat first impression of the choice. The Stranger — reliably — tells us that the new pope is just as bad as the last one. Fair points about church belief on homosexuality, marriage and gender matters in general. But it could be a case of media orthodoxy remaining unwavering in its assessment of a changing world.