Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio

Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio has been elected Pope. He was chosen on the fifth round of votes by the 115 cardinals meeting in the Sistine Chapel to select Pope Benedict XVI’s successor. He is the first Latin American and the first Jesuit to become Bishop of Rome, and has chosen the name Francis I.

Reacting to the announcement, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, Archbishop of Glasgow and President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland said: “I was surprised that the conclave was so quick. It took hardly any longer than the election of Benedict XVI. Given the pre-Conclave situation, and the absence of a single dominant figure, I can only see this quick result as God’s work. As soon as I heard I went into my chapel and offered a grateful and joyful prayer of thanksgiving … Deo Gratias!”

Archbishop Tartaglia added: “He is a man of firsts. The first Latin American. The first Jesuit. The first Pope Francis. I think we can take from his first appearance that he is a humble, spiritual and calm man. A reconciler and healer, with a strong background on social justice. His name reminds us of the little saint of Assisi. A simple man who was the poor servant of Jesus and who was given the message ‘rebuild my church’. It is a very significant message for our time. He may also have in mind St Francis Xavier, the great missionary and a reminder of the need for a new evangelisation.

Archbishop Tartaglia concluded: “We missed having a Pope. Catholics feel the need for Peter. We now have Peter back. The new Pope will give us joy and confidence.”

• Full story at the Scottish Catholic Media Office.

The first words of Pope Francis I: ‘Good evening!’

As translated by the BBC.

Good evening!

You know that the duty of the conclave was to provide Rome with a
bishop. It looks as if my brothers the cardinals went to fetch him
from the end of the world!

I’d like to thank you for your welcome. The people of Rome: thank you!

I’d like to pray for Benedict XVI. Let’s pray altogether for him so
that the Madonna can look after him.”

[Then Pope Francis said the Lord’s Prayer, followed by the Hail Mary.]
Glory to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.
And now let’s start working together, walking together, in the Church of Rome.

This is the path of brotherhood and trust.

Let’s pray for each other because of the great brotherhood of the
world. I pray the path will be fruitful for this beautiful city.

Now I will bless you. But I’d like to ask you a favour, for your
prayer to bless me as your bishop. Let’s pray silently, your prayer
for me.

[The stole was put around his shoulders.]

I am going to bless you all and the entire world – all the men and women of good will…

[Pope Francis gave his urbi et orbi blessing, to huge cheers.]

I’m going to leave you now. Good night, and I wish you peace.

• Full story at the Catholic Herald.

Prayer for the new Pope Francis I

Almighty God,
shepherd of souls,
we pray for Francis I chosen to be Pope:
Guide him by your Spirit,
give him grace to lead people in prayer and zeal
and to follow in the footsteps
of Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.

• Source: Church of England.

Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio: a profile

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio has had a growing reputation as a very spiritual man with a talent for pastoral leadership serving in a region with the largest number of the world’s Catholics.

Since 1998, he has been archbishop of Buenos Aires, where his style is low-key and close to the people.

He rides the bus, visits the poor, lives in a simple apartment and cooks his own meals. To many in Buenos Aires, he is known simply as “Father Jorge.”

He also has created new parishes, restructured the administrative offices, led pro-life initiatives and started new pastoral programs, such as a commission for divorcees. He co-presided over the 2001 Synod of Bishops and was elected to the synod council, so he is well-known to the world’s bishops.

The cardinal has also written books on spirituality and meditation and has been outspoken against abortion and same-sex marriages.

• Full story at the Catholic Herald.

Moderator welcomes new Pope

Welcoming the news of the election of the new Pope, the Rt Rev Albert Bogle, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland said:

“We in the Church of Scotland extend to our friends in the Roman Catholic Church our best wishes on hearing the news of the election of Pope Francis I.

“As this new chapter commences in the history of the world church we look forward with joyful anticipation to the growing understanding that continues to be evident among all Christians of good will.

“We look to the Holy Spirit to bring about the deepening unity within the church, for which we all long.”

‘Warm welcome’ from Scottish Episcopal Church

The Most Rev David Chillingworth, Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church said:

“The Scottish Episcopal Church warmly welcomes the election of Pope Francis. He is known for his simplicity of life and his compassionate humility. The church in South America expresses vigorous life and a deep commitment to justice for the poor.

“God has called him to this ministry at a time when its demands seem overwhelming. We pray that God will equip him with the grace which he needs to fulfil the task. We also pray that his many gifts and his experience will enable him to lead the church forward in mission and service.”