Wow, nobody is discussing this?! I thought there were lots of Catholics here.
I'm excited, and hopeful that the Church will have a breath of new life and forward direction.
When he steps down at the end of the month he won't vote for the next pontiff....he's going to join a monastery to do "spiritual reflection"....after he leaves the Vatican he will no longer have anything to do or say about the things that go on there.
don't be sorry for asking questions, the only way you will ever learn something new is by asking.
To clarify - the pontiff will not "join" a monastery.
Immediately following his resignation, he will move to the Papal residence in Castel Gandolfo, and when renovations are complete at a monastery of cloistered nuns inside the Vatican, he will move there "for a period of prayer and reflection".
As I mentioned on another thread, I think that Francis's background (Italian-Argentinian) gives him a good chance to bridge the gap between Europe and the Americas. He also seems very unpretentious so far - traveling with the cardinals instead of his own "Popemobile", paying his hotel bill himself, etc.
I've heard him described as variously "conservative" and "moderate"; I guess it depends on your point of view.
Of course I cannot answer these questions, but I am so encouraged that a Jesuit is now at the helm! My partner was schooled (high school and undergrad college) by Jesuits, and we have great love for the order. In general, they tend to be less conservative and more willing to seek progression in our Catholic faith.
I was quite saddened when Benedict was elected, and I feel that he pushed the Church backwards in many ways. It is my great hope that Francis will get us moving forward again.
I am struck by Francis' humility ... referring to himself (correctly) as "the bishop", eschewing his own car for the cardinals' bus, refusing the "White Chair" and praying amongst his fellow bishops/cardinals after the announcement on Tuesday. Yet I sense a great inner strength there, as well. I am confident that he will be a firm, but humble, shepherd.
I think that this is a very exciting time for our Church, and a great opportunity for renewal in our faith. May Our Father bless and protect our new shepherd, Francis I!
This makes me a little uneasy, though. Apparently his fellow Jesuits find Francis a bit conservative.
Members of CL are known as ciellini, and Bergoglio's relationship with them was another cause for consternation among his Jesuit brothers since, as John Allen noted, "the ciellini once upon a time were seen as the main opposition to Bergoglio's fellow Jesuit in Milan, Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini."
It was Martini who, before his death last year, gave a highly publicized last interview saying the Catholic church is "200 years out of date."
Love this, from the Martini article in the quote:
The church is 200 years behind the times. Why doesn't it stir? Are we afraid? Is it fear rather than courage? In any event, the faith is the foundation of the church. Faith, trust, courage. I'm old and sick, and I depend on the help of others. Good people around me make me feel their love. This love is stronger than the sentiment of distrust that I feel every now and then with regard to the church in Europe. Only love defeats exhaustion. God is love.