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HABEMUS PAPAM FRANCISCUM

Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio, SJ

 
His Holiness Pope Francis
 
Tonight in Rome, Italy Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio, SJ heard those fateful words "Tu es Petrus". 

On what is believed to be the fifth ballot he was Elected Pope taking the name Francis.  He was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina on December 17, 1936 thus is six days older than myself also the name Francis is also my Roman Catholic Confirmation name.  He is a Jesuit the first ever to become Pope and my final school years were spent at Ireland's premier Jesuit College - all of which seems to indicate one should be on ones best behaviour!

Now we must patiently wait and see how he sets about administering the Roman Catholic Church particularly dealing with the highly dysfunctional Vatican Curia.  It may well be he is what is needed to solve the Church's many problems, for now the Lay Community should take a wait-and-see attitude remembering that those of the Society of Jesus can pull surprises like no other Roman Catholic priests.  In the meantime do not expect a whole lot of changes all at once or even in the first years, because Pope Francis has to settle into the job after his Installation next week then appoint new people to the Curia positions.   Later in the year when some changes do occur one will perhaps be pleased particularly if we the Lay Community do not expect too much.

One of the changes which may happen first is that priests, who are not members of Orders such as the Jesuits and the various Monastic Orders, but serve in the Parishes of a Diocese may be allowed to marry and be self-supporting of themselves and their families.  This would perhaps solve for now the need to address the issue of women priests as this is a hugely complex problem for the Roman Catholic Church. 

 At one time in Irish Christian Church history the priests who served in Parishes were allowed to marry.  This was changed by Papal Decree, in Ireland it caused a great rift with Rome since the Irish priests could no longer marry and in addition had to take a vow of celibacy.  From that time a Papal Nuncio was always resident in Ireland so that the Roman Church could keep an eye on the Irish Church.  In recent decades those who felt a Call to the Ministry and who also wished to marry, quietly joined the Church of Ireland which is the Anglican Protestant Church of Ireland the Roman Catholic Church being the Church in Ireland a title which is normally never used but exists legally.

Count D. Peter Boucher, Kt. SMOM.

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