White Smoke: Pope Francis I

Saint_Francis_of_Assisi_by_Jusepe_de_RiberaThe Catholic Church selected the new Pope, Francis I.  He’s the first non-European pope.  He’s from Argentina (but his parents are Italian).  Pre-pope name: Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

I know everyone is asking,

Why did it take so long to select an non-European pope?”

It took over 2000 years (although, Peter, the first “pope,” wasn’t European).

Yes, that’s a great question, but let’s applaud this bold move outside of “The Continent.”

My question is,


“Why did it take so long for a pope to take the name of Francis?”

The new pope is named after one of my heroes of faith, Francis of Assisi (1181-1226).  (See God Behaving Badly, pages 91-92).  Francis valued a simple lifestyle (see image), a focus on Jesus and a connection to God through creation that the Church could learn a lot from today.

I don’t know much about Pope Francis I (he’s 76- so he may not be around long), but I really like his choice of a name.

What do you think of the new Pope?  



  1. I just heard that the new Pope isn’t named after Francis of Assisi, but after Francis Xavier. The original news reports were wrong, which was what I was following. Xavier is a great name, but I greatly prefer Assisi as a role model.

  2. I should have picked up the problem in the original news stories. He’s a Jesuit and Xavier founded the Jesuit order. He wouldn’t be named after the founder of a “rival” order, the Franciscans.

  3. I’ve been calling him Pope Frank to give him a more contemporary feel. I continue to pray for an authentic Christian Pope.

  4. It is great to see a worthy non-European man become Pope. I guess I am see why it took the Vatican so long. Most of he growth in Catholicism has been in Africa and Latim America.

  5. Kim, I like Pope Frank. We’ll see if it catches on.
    Ernie, yes it’s about time.
    Julie, I don’t think he’s the anti-Christ. Do you? Although, Jesus did call Peter, “Satan”–as in “Get behind me.” (Mark 8:33). So, now you got me thinking.

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