Martedì, 23 Ottobre 2018
VATICAN CITY

Pope Francis sets new tone of openness

English
© ANSA

Vatican City, March 18 - With last week's election
of Pope Francis, the Catholic Church appears to be setting a new
course that could see a greater openness to other faiths and
traditions.
Some cardinals have recently said that they felt the Holy
Spirit was moving through the conclave, leading to Wednesday's
election of former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who quickly
announced that he would take the name Francis.
That name was inspired by one of the most humble but
powerful figures in the history of the Catholic Church, St.
Francis of Assisi, and seemed to be something of a harbinger of
change.
Some cardinals themselves seemed a bit surprised at how
quickly - in just two days - Pope Francis was elected to replace
Benedict XVI, who stunned the world by stepping down last month.
But there seems to be widespread hope that Francis, who
hails from Argentina and has shown a particular interest in
making common cause with the poor and humble in society, will
work to bring a new period of openness and peace led by the
Catholic Church.
Changes in his style were apparent only two days after his
election, when Francis made a point of speaking with each member
of the College of Cardinals.
In comments to the group, he particularly thanked cardinals
Angelo Sodano, Tarcisio Bertone and Giovanni Battista Re by name
for their roles in handling church governance in the time
between the popes.
Francis then noted that he and many among the group "are in
the third stage of our lives".
"We are in our old age, but it is the time of giving,"
Francis said.
"Old age is the seat of life's wisdom. People who are wise
go a long way, like old Simeon in the temple, who met Jesus," he
added.
"We need to hand on this wisdom to young people. Wisdom is
like good wine that matures with age. A German poet said about
old age: 'Old age is a time of peace and prayer'. We need to
hand on this wisdom to the young".
On Saturday, Francis offered a blessing that encompassed
international journalists and media in Rome to cover conclave
and the settling in of the new pope.
In his address, he gave the media a few insights into the
conclave that elected him, and confirmed that he had decided to
use the name Francis to honour St. Francis of Assisi, who
dedicated his life to helping the poor and working for peace.
"I thought of wars, while the voting continued, through all
the votes," he explained.
"And Francis was the man of peace. And that way the name
came about, came into my heart: Francis of Assisi".
With this unusual gesture, specifically speaking with the
media and holding a Mass with those who covered the conclave, it
seemed Francis was stretching out to include people of all
faiths around the world and possibly even offering a hand to
non-believers in a secular society.
Many will be watching in the coming weeks to see if Francis
continues his outreach of good will on behalf of the Catholic
community to other faiths.
Francis has also made an effort to reach out to praise his
predecessor, Benedict XVI, who Francis has said enriched the
Church with his faith, humility, and patience.
The new pope's style will likely also show itself in an
effort to "streamline and simplify" some of the work of the
Vatican, suggested press spokesman Father Federico Lombardi.

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