I haven't said anything about the pope, mostly because I've been learning about him. All in all, I think the bishops made a good choice in Francis I. Why?
- He's not Italian - or European!
- He's a humble man and one who cares deeply for the poor. A true Christian.
- He's a Jesuit. He's taken the vows of a monk.
- He's the exact opposite of Ratzinger.
- He's conservative.
He's no John Paul II and part of me thinks that is what the Church really needs right now. But those popes come around once in hundreds of years, unfortunately. Francis I will be a nice change from the last pope and that will suffice.
The Jesuits were created very late in the game, so to speak - in the 1500s - by Ignatius of Loyola. They became very powerful in the Church but Francis I is the first Jesuit pope. As of now, the Jesuits - brothers and clergy - are the largest religious order in the Church.
I do not think this pope will allow for female priests, gay marriage, or the marriage of priests. It's hard for a Catholic to explain why this just won't happen... But, as a Catholic, I know none of it will.
I look forward to seeing how Francis I does as the Vicar of Christ.