Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The New Pope Francis - Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio

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The new pope has been selected after two days of the Cardinals deliberating on their election of the successor to Pope Benedict. A black man, a cardinal from Ghana, was in the running to be pope, but he did not make it. The new pope, Jose Mario Bergoglio, is a Jesuit and he is from Argentina, in South America. "The new pope, 76, who will be called Francis ... is also the first non-European leader of the church in more than 1,000 years." NYT

This will be my second time of seeing a pope elected and it remains a historic event for me. Roman Catholics have not had it easy in the past few decades but the denomination remains a pillar in Christendom. While the new Pope, Francis, is non-European like some people wanted, I wonder about his age and how strong he is to carry on the papal work.

I hope this new pope will continue to build on the modernization of the policies of the church to include those who are marginalized including on issues that affect women. Also, he has to be firm in tackling pedophilia in the church in a way thay benefits and affirms the dignity of victims while making the abusive perpetrators face justice.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

My Questions on the Pope's Resignation, Answered

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Since the news of Pope Benedict's resignation yesterday, some questions had been on my mind. I am not Roman Catholic, but as a child, we held loads of these long discussions on the pope and RC catechism. Like I was saying to someone, Pope John Paul II was like THE POPE then, I never heard anything like a resignation or abdication. I assumed Popes couldn't and only death could separate them and their office. Well, now I know better...not only can popes resign [Benedict is not the first], they are also not always infallible. The eye-opening Q and A below;

Will he still be infallible?

No—and in fact, he’s never been infallible. In accordance with the First Vatican Council of 1870, the pope is infallible only when he makes an ex cathedra statement—that is, a statement concerning “a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church.” Most popes never make ex cathedra statements during their papacy; only one infallible statement (regarding the Assumption of Mary) has been made since the First Vatican Council of 1870. Pope John XXIII was quoted as saying, “I am only infallible if I speak infallibly but I shall never do that, so I am not infallible.” Pope Benedict XVI has never spoken ex cathedra, and he will lose the ability to do so once he resigns from the papacy.