Firsts thoughts – Wow!
I was at work when I first saw tweeted “White smoke?” Then Twitter seemed to slow to a crawl as I waited for confirmation. As soon as it was confirmed I left work and headed home. The drive home seemed to take forever, but I was able to listen to EWTN and even watch the live stream at traffic lights until I got home to watch.
The experience was quite different this time around. Last time as soon as I heard “Iosephus” I knew who was pope and was jumping up and down. This time I didn’t quite catch the name and when I heard Franciscus I was wondering which Cardinal’s name started with Francis? Doh! The fact that the new Pope’s name was Francis just did not seem possible. Wow am I glad I didn’t put any money in a Papal Name pool.
I am totally blown away by the regnal name Francis. Pope John Paul I introduced the first new regnal name in over a thousand years with the double name. Before that it was Pope Lando (elected in 913) who was the last one one that had a brand new name and in this case it was his own. So a different regnal name that was not the person’s own name must go back much farther. I am guessing that like Pope Benedict XVI he has taken on the name to specifically honor two people, in this case St. Francis of Assisi and St. Francis Xavier the great missionary Jesuit.
A Jesuit Pope named Francis – who would have thunk it.
I note sure what to make of my tweet the other day. Prophetic or pathetic – perhaps both.
— ➡️Curt Jester⬅️ (@CurtJester) March 11, 2013
When I had read over the various biographies of the top papabiles the main thing that came to mind is that really I would have been happy with pretty much any of them. I had no hands-down favorite concerning the ones that were on the top of the list. I did generally like the idea of having a Pope from outside of Europe just as a symbol of the universality of the Church. So having a Pope from Argentina with connections to the European continent is a pretty cool thing. So it will take some time getting use to Pope Francis, Jorge Bergoglio, and I am eager to learn more about this man. Much more than the fairly short bios I have seen. I was impressed with his demeanor today and look forward to the direction his papacy will take. Whatever agenda I might have for the papacy, I hope instead it is the Holy Spirit’s agenda.
It is bitter-sweet that this time around I don’t have a giant catalog of books to catch up on regarding a new Pope. With Cardinal Ratzinger I already had a small collection of his books which I greatly expanded during his papacy. So it is both grief and release there is not a Ratzinger-size catalog to pursue.
I still feel like a drank a couple hundred cups of coffee as I have that buzz of excitement I am still slowly declining from. There are many great reasons to be Catholic and besides the truth we also get all the tradition and pomp of a papal election.