What Do You Think About the Selection of Pope Francis?
The election of the new pope proved to be an historic event on Wednesday, but it could also spark contention when it comes to gay rights in the Catholic Church, as Pope Francis has described same-sex marriage as "a destructive attack on God's plan."
In a historic event, the first Latin American was chosen as pope on Wednesday, March 13, but not all are happy about the new pope's stances.
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, of Agentina, will lead Catholics around the globe as Pope Francis. Having served as novice master in San Miguel, where he taught theology, Francis was also Provincial for Argentia from 1973 to 1979, and rector of the Philosophical and Theological Faculty of San Miguel from 1980 to 1986, according to his bio on the Vatican's website.
In 1992, he was appointed titular Bishop of Auca and Auxiliary of Buenos Aires, receiving episcopal consecration. He is also Ordinary for Eastern-rite faithful in Argentina who lack an Ordinary of their own rite.
While many have praised the move, some of Pope Francis's views may prove to be controversial. The newly-elected pope is a conservative who is opposed to gay marriage and gay adoption, according to The Huffington Post, and has gone to describe same-sex marriage as "the work of the devil and a 'destructive attack on God's plan.'"
Moreover, Francis stood against a bill for same-sex marriage and gay adoption, and said that if a proposed bill giving same-sex couples the chance to marry and adopt children should be approved, it would "seriously damage the family," according to the National Catholic Register.
For decades the Catholic hierarchy has been in need of desperate reform. In his life, Jesus condemned gays zero times. In Pope Benedict's short time in the papacy, he made a priority of condemning gay people routinely. This, in spite of the fact, that the Catholic hierarchy had been in collusion to cover up the widespread abuse of children within its care. We hope this Pope will trade in his red shoes for a pair of sandals and spend a lot less time condemning and a lot more time foot-washing.
Many praised the choice on Wednesday, while others relayed opposition. Here's what a few local Patch readers said on Facebook:
- Colleen Freeman (via Canton Patch): He is also the first Jesuit Pope! Very excited and offer prayers that he will be a good spiritual leader.
- Stephen Coote (via Foxborough Patch): The only way he and his church will ever gain respect is if he stands up and takes responsibility for the church's actions and stops harboring pedophiles. The entire institution is based on lies.
- Cindy LouWho (via Walpole Patch): I'm a little disappointed, but the new pope seems to be quite pleasant!!!
- Keely Kennedy-Hebert (via Attleboro Patch): I think this is a great choice. I was hoping for Cardinal O'Malley. But I think Francis I is going to be great for change. We shall see. God bless Francis I.
What do you think about the election of Pope Francis? Do you agree with the move, or would you rather have seen another choice, and if so, whom? Let us know in the comments section below.