Thursday, March 14, 2013

We Have a New Pope!

We all celebrate that we have a new Pope, Francis. It’s a work of the Holy Spirit that he combines the keen intellectual tradition and evangelical zeal of his order, the Jesuits, embodied in one of its tireless preachers, St. Francis Xavier, with the gentle simplicity of the example of St. Francis of Assisi, particularly his disdain for pretense and hypocrisy. During the economic crisis in Argentina in 2002, it was then Cardinal Bergoglio who declared in a homily “to those who are now promising to fix all your problems, I say, ‘Go and fix yourselves….have a change of heart….Get to confession, before you need it even more!” It was no surprise that he was not loved by those governmental elites.

I’ve been praying for the man who would be our Vicar of Christ on this earth. But now I’m starting to fall in love with this guy.

We are already hearing the lament from the mainstream media that this cardinal is not young and, even worse, appears to be "yet another conservative." All I can say is, “What were you expecting?” This is a familiar rant by media elites who believe that religions need to be less religious to survive in the modern world. This is why they can’t stand us, and this is frankly why they can’t understand the aggressive spread of Islam in our world. These people misread the fundamental appeal of Christianity since its founding, and the words of its founder, and will always be confused by those who take both seriously.

The more Western culture and its intellectual elites assert ever more proudly the superiority and dictatorship of its moral relativism (summarized in their Creed “there are no absolutes, and I accept that absolutely”), they more it might want to listen to religious traditions that argue unashamedly on behalf of moral absolutes and the inherent dignity of every human being. To all the world, this Spanish-speaking Catholic deacon, raised and educated by the Jesuits, who grew up in South America, can only say, “viva el Papa!”, “viva Francisco!”

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