Poped Out

<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Card._Jorge_Bergoglio_SJ,_2008.jpg">Aibdescalzo</a>/Wikimedia Commons


Watching the cheering crowds and the usual fawning secular media reporting on a new pope without the slightest bit of knowledge, I am, quite simply, poped out. A non-European! A Jesuit! Doesn’t he look warm and friendly!

The truth is, we don’t know much. Jorge Mario Bergoglio is described as a doctrinal conservative and a man of social justice. He gave up his limo and takes the bus. He’s said to be fan of Comunione e Liberazione, a conservative Catholic lay group.

He was ordained a priest in 1969 and by 1973 he was a bureaucrat—almost no history of serving ordinary people in parish life. He was a midlevel Jesuit functionary and then worked for many years in the Curia in Rome rounded out his resume with Vatican commissions. His profile fits those of many bishops and cardinals appointed by the last two popes—youngish when appointed, little pastoral experience. Working as a Jesuit provincial doesn’t tell you much about the lives of women or children, of working and starving families.

Vamos a ver; we will see. The job of Pope can turn the most humble man into a elitist. After all, you are infallible.

I expected little; I think my expectations have been met.

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  • Frances Kissling's work has appeared in publications including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and The Nation. She was president of Catholics for A Free Choice for 25 years, and is currently working on a book about ethical dilemmas and abortion as a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.