By Jack Macias ’14
Pope Francis was elected March 13, 2013 to the surprise of the Jesuit order.
Pope Francis was known as the Rev. Jorge Bergoglio, S.J., a Jesuit from Argentina.
The election is a surprise because Jesuits, when initiated to their order, take a vow to not seek higher power within the church.
Although this would disqualify any Jesuit from taking a position of power, according to World Language teacher Mr. Chris Calderon, S.J., after 10 or more years a Jesuit takes another vow pledging their obedience to the Pope.
“I think along with the other 18,000 Jesuits in the world, shock,” Mr. Calderon said of his initial reaction. “Even Fr. Oliver, after 60 years of being a Jesuit, said he’d never in his lifetime thought there would be a Jesuit pope.”
Although Pope Francis never pursued a higher standing in the church, he was appointed a cardinal under Pope John Paul II and elected pope after the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.
“I think his way of living is a breath of fresh air, refusing to live in the papal palace, refusing to wear the expensive garments or that he doesn’t want a throne lined with gold,” Mr. Calderon said. “He is not a man that is flimsy on the rules. He recognizes the rules shouldn’t get in the way of caring for other people.”
On Holy Thursday, Pope Francis washed the feet of female prisoners, angering some of the more conservative cardinals and members of the church.
On the contrary, people are noticing such acts of kindness, such as members of a juvenile detention center in Los Angeles writing to the pope because they were so moved by it, they felt that Pope Francis was helping them, said Mr. Calderon.
Pope Francis is attempting to revert the church back to a simpler state, “a church of the poor for the poor,” Fr. said the Rev. Harry Oliver.
Pope Francis will have an advisory board, not solely from Rome as previous popes have, but it will be made up of bishops and people from other countries.
Amid recent events and scandals in the Catholic Church, Pope Francis is looked upon to give insight on the situation.
“He has made one statement regarding the sex abuse scandal, telling the bishops throughout the world they should be more attuned and never let anything like this to happen again,” Fr. Oliver said.
For more information and opinions on Pope Francis see: New Pope needs to tackle important, modern issues