The following is Bishop Joe Vasquez’s press conference about our new Holy Father. Thanks to Relevant Radio and Pat Ryan!
At approximately 1:13pm CST on Wednesday March 13, 2013 white smoke began billowing out of the chimney atop the Sistine Chapel. Viewership online at EWTN, CatholicTV.com, Salt and Light and more jumped in a matter of moments, slowing down the ability to watch the event live (and frustrating many of us watching from work). Twitter and Facebook were buzzing with “Habemus Papam! We have a pope!” Church bells rang at the Vatican, in Rome and around the world.
And then we waited. For approximately one hour, we waited for the Senior Cardinal Deacon, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran to come out onto the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican and declare officially what we unofficially knew (that we had a pope), and to tell the world who the man was.
And in Latin it was proclaimed: “Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum: Habemus Papam! Eminentissimum ac reverendissimum Dominum, Dominum Fransisco [his papal name accidently stated here] Georgio Sanctæ Romanæ Ecclesiæ Cardinalem Bergoglio, Qui sibi nomen imposuit Franciscum”
Translation: I announce to you a great joy: We have a Pope! The most eminent and most reverend Lord, Francis [his papal name accidently stated here] Jorge Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church Bergoglio, Who takes for himself the name of Francis.
And then the man, our new pope, Pope Francis stepped out onto the balcony.
The 265th Successor of Saint Peter, Pope Francis, formerly Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J., was elected on the fifth ballot of the conclave. His selection was a surprise name to many. Yet he is believed to have been second in voting when Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, was elected. And so Pope Francis was elected Pope by the Conclave of the Cardinals via their openness to God in the Holy Spirit.
So who is our new pope? Pope Francis was born December 17 in 1936, a first generation Italian immigrant to Argentina (his parents immigrated to Argentina). He was born on December 17, 1936 in Buenos Aires and is currently 76 years old. He was ordained to the Jesuit religious order on December 13, 1969. He was the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and the Ordinary for Eastern-rite Argentineans. Among other things, he has been a novice master, taught theology, been a rector, confessor and spiritual director and received his doctorate, all prior to being appointed Bishop of Auca and Auxiliary of Buenos Aires in May 1992. In June of 1997 he was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Buenos Aires and became Archbishop in February of 1998. He was Adjuct Relator General of the 10th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October 2001, has served as President of the Bishops’ Conference of Argentina from November 2005 to November 2011. He was created and proclaimed a Cardinal by Blessed John Paul II in February of 2001. He is currently a member of the Congregation Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, of the Congregation for the Clergy, of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, of the Congregation Pontifical Council for the Family and of the Congregation Pontifical Commission for Latin America. He is the first Jesuit pope, the first Latin American pope and the first pope to take the name Francis.
We in the United States know very little of Pope Francis. A lot will be researched over the coming days about who the new pope is and what he has done and said in the past. He will be scrutinized closely for the rest of his life, with his words dissected for meaning, his movements and decisions rejoiced over, criticized and questioned.
And though we don’t know much except the biographical information above, if we paid attention to the first moment of Pope Francis, his actions and words speak volumes to the man he is. He referenced our Blessed Mother Mary in his first comments to the world as Pope Francis, he shared a prayer for Pope Benedict XVI, he lead the Church in simple prayers such as the Our Father, he requested prayers for himself as the new pontiff and he fondly bid the crowd good night and see you soon. Additionally, his selection of the name Francis, after St. Francis of Assisi, a well known and beloved saint, tells us much about the type of man he strives to be: simple, humble but very, staunchly faithful in front of the world and quietly faithful to God in his chapel.
His first words to the Catholic Church and the world:
Brothers and sisters good evening.
You all know that the duty of the Conclave was to give a bishop to Rome. It seems that my brother Cardinals have come almost to the ends of the earth to get him… but here we are. I thank you for the welcome that has come from the diocesan community of Rome.
First of all I would say a prayer pray for our Bishop Emeritus Benedict XVI.. Let us all pray together for him, that the Lord bless him and Our Lady protect him.
Glory to the Father…
And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood . My hope is that this journey of the Church that we begin today, together with help of my Cardinal Vicar, be fruitful for the evangelization of this beautiful city.
And now I would like to give the blessing, but first I want to ask you a favor. Before the bishop blesses the people I ask that you would pray to the Lord to bless me – the prayer of the people for their Bishop. Let us say this prayer – your prayer for me – in silence.
[The Senior Cardinal Deacon later announced later that all those who received the blessing, either in person or by radio, television or by the new means of communication received a plenary indulgence in the form established by the Church. He prayed that Almighty God protect and guard the Pope so that he may lead the Church for many years to come, and that he would grant peace to the Church throughout the world.]
[Immediately afterwards Pope Francis gave his first blessing, known as the Urbi et Orbi, to the City and to the World.]
I will now give my blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will.
Brothers and sisters, I am leaving you. Thank you for your welcome. Pray for me and I will be with you again soon.
We will see one another soon.
Tomorrow I want to go to pray to the Madonna, that she may protect Rome.
Good night and sleep well!
This is an exciting and interesting time in the Catholic Church.
What are your thoughts of our new pope?