News / Europe

Cardinals Break with Tradition in Selection of New Pontiff

In this image made from video provided by CTV, Pope Francis celebrates his inaugural Mass with cardinals inside the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican, March 14, 2013.In this image made from video provided by CTV, Pope Francis celebrates his inaugural Mass with cardinals inside the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican, March 14, 2013.
x
In this image made from video provided by CTV, Pope Francis celebrates his inaugural Mass with cardinals inside the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican, March 14, 2013.
In this image made from video provided by CTV, Pope Francis celebrates his inaugural Mass with cardinals inside the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican, March 14, 2013.
Roman Catholic cardinals have broken with tradition, electing a pope who is not from Europe, the first from Latin America and the first Jesuit.

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, was elected the 266th pope and has taken the name of Francis.

Church historian Christopher Bellitto, who teaches at Kean University in Union, New Jersey, says the new pope is known for leading a simple life.

“He doesn’t have a chauffeured limousine, he takes a bus to work. He lives in a simple apartment, not an archbishop’s palace,” said Bellitto. “He is known for a simple prayer life. He also seems to cook for himself, every now and again.”

Pontiff Takes Name of Francis

George Ferzoco, professor of theology at Bristol University in England says the name a new pontiff takes is an important sign.

Related video report by Carolyn Presutti
Pope's Jesuit Order Shuns Higher Officei
X
March 15, 2013 12:09 AM
Pope Francis, the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church, is the first Jesuit pontiff. The Jesuits were pioneers in globalization - and their mission is information. They have founded universities around the world, including Georgetown University in Washington. That’s where we find VOA’s Carolyn Presutti --who tells us how the first Jesuit pope may differ from any other pope in the history of the church.
“For the better part of the century or two, the same limited number of names have come up over and over again. What we have here is an unparalleled choice where we have someone with the name Francis. And it’s not just that this is a new name - it’s what that name signifies,” said Ferzoco. “It’s a saint and a name that reflects that saint who was committed to serving the poorest of the poor, to evangelizing, to spreading the word of the gospel, of service to the church.”

First Jesuit Pope

At the same time, Ferzoco said Francis is the first Jesuit elected to the papacy.

“With choosing someone from Bergoglio’s order, we have someone who has demonstrated from the very beginning of his priesthood a devotion to the papacy. He is absolutely unshakeable in the central power of the church - when I say power, I mean spiritual power,” said Ferzoco. “He is the first Jesuit to be pope and this alone is staggering, when you think that the Jesuit order was founded in the 16th century, very largely as ‘the shock troops of the pope.’ They are the order at the beck and call of the papacy.”

Bellito said both Saint Francis and the founder of the Jesuit order - Saint Ignatius of Loyola - were “company men”- “that is they are going to do what they are told to do but they are going to do those things in very innovative ways.”

Bellitto said it is difficult to predict how Pope Francis will deal with such issues as reforming the Vatican’s bureaucracy known as the Curia.

“A lot of people say 1/3 of the College of Cardinals works in the Curia - turn that around, 2/3 of the College of Cardinals - and 2/3 is what you need to get elected - 2/3 of the College of Cardinals are in dioceses," said Bellitto. “And it looks like they really wanted somebody who has lived working on problems at the church’s grassroots levels.”

Pope Francis succeeds Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI who resigned last month and is currently residing at the popes’ summer residence in Castel Gandolfo.

Andre de Nesnera

Andre de Nesnera is senior analyst at the Voice of America, where he has reported on international affairs for more than three decades. Now serving in Washington D.C., he was previously senior European correspondent based in London, established VOA’s Geneva bureau in 1984 and in 1989 was the first VOA correspondent permanently accredited in the Soviet Union.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid