28 thoughts on “Prayers for Our New Pope

  1. As a Jesuit his education will have been exceptional, with at least two degrees, and his spiritual training will have been ten years long and required a 30 day retreat. He will have spent a year in the novitiate doing a variety of community service jobs. In the mission statement of the Jesuits is the phrase,”preferential option for the poor.” This will be a man whose opinions are likely to be exceptionally rational and even if they are orthodox they will be reasonable not fundamentalist. In other words he will be open to reasoned challenge …. I hope.
    His personal choices of living simply sound inspiring. He sounds like the kind of person who may be willing and able to break the Vatican away from the medieval opulence that currently characterizes it. As someone who has already shown commitment to social justice he may also be the right person to address the issue of justice for victims.
    But maybe I’m just feeling optimistic. He has to learn about the Curia and survive its politics. He has to choose his advisors well and keep up to date and in touch, himself, with what’s going on.
    I will pray for him…it’s the least I can do.

  2. Amen Mona! A Jesuit as Pope! I am feeling very optimistic and hopeful that he can be the one to begin the healing! The people are the Church and Rome has been so out of touch with the people that Jesus wouldn’t recognize the Church of today. I hope and pray Pope Francis will bring tolerance, love and inclusion to the Church and get us back on the right path. I will be praying for him!

  3. There is great sustenance in Hope. I am sure I am not alone in hoping, praying and trusting that the Holy Spirit, so much more than we are, knows how to move this Church. The people of God, the followers of Jesus and the gospel will continue to work with the hierarchical Church until and when the Spirit encourages another venue. My hope and belief is that the voices and prayers of the faithful will be – have been – heard by almighty God and God knows what God is about.

  4. I’m also feeling hopeful – hope is good! Yes, he is traditional, but I think with this man, God might be able to do great things. We have to keep praying, and keep speaking out for those who have been so severely scarred.

  5. It’s hard. I think part of the problem is Catholics are still looking at a Pope to make or break their church. All of the excitement surrounding the conclave, the election process, and the announcement means very little to my family personally.

    My Mom called me right after the announcement. “I just want you to know that despite the hoopla surrounding this event, we haven’t forgotten (insert husband’s name here). All of it is pale in comparison to what (husband) endured. Whether it’s a John Paul II, or a Benedict or a Francis…we know what the Catholics rushing to the piazza will never fully understand.”

    Honestly, I didn’t care at that point. The only thing that pissed me off was that we were included in that “inflated” number of Catholics because we have not officially been ex-communicated. I considered it a success that my son saw news coverage and said, “What is the big deal about a Pope? He’s just a man, right?” Thank you Jesus!!!! I did get the chance to share the history and importance of an influencial figure to Catholics though. He still didn’t understand…”But, he’s not God?” He’s 9…and approaching the age that my husband was abused.

    I didn’t post anything because I didn’t want to be the buzz kill to all the Catholics excited about the process and the announcement.

    My faith does not hinge on any elected official, and to me, that’s all he is.

    I did pray for him though. May he have the courage to clean house and discipline his employees. I’ll be looking for actions, not words, meetings, or prayers. God help him.

  6. The only hope I place in Francis is that his seemingly genuine humility will affect the clericalism, cronyism, careerism, appetite for power, and arrogance that permeates the priesthood from top to bottom. Aside from that, I am further away from Catholicism than I have ever been. Gone. Finished.

    1. I found the media’s coverage of the conclave to be mortifying. An embarrassment. Anyone intrigued by the medieval spectacle must be irrational.

      1. I wish the new pope well, but i see no real reason to hope for anything new or restorative for the church under his leadership. He appears to represents the same tired, old stuff.

        As for saying prayers for him and for the future of his church…At this point, looking ahead I am hardly able to imagine any possibilities for which I can pray.

        1. As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and His saving grace coming from His cross and resurrection, I owe it to every man to pray for them. The only “honest prayer” has to be that the man repudiates the claims of his “office.” If any person on earth
          stands in opposition to the truth of God, it has to be a man whom claims to speak for God when he doesn’t.

      2. Kate: One of the local TV stations here in the midstate interviewed the Bishop of Harrisburg. It was still the same mumbo jumbo. But it also interviewed two women who worked in a Catholic shop in York and both self admitted devout Catholics. When asked about what the priorities for the new pope ,should be the first one said to make sure the sexual abuse of children stopped and the second woman stated that the pope should get rid of all priests who molested children. We have come along way. I can’t imagine these same two women responding in that way when Benedict was elected.I hope and pray that this man can change the direction of the Church. It is one Herculean job.But whatever he is capable of doing,it is the change in attitudes of millions of Catholics that will determine if the Catholic Church has a future.

  7. The Pope is a man that many people look up to.(Sadly) There is only one reason, that is; the catholics have been indoctrinated into this belief that the Pope is the Head of the church.They have been brainswashed into believing that they are not intelligent enough ” in spiritual matters”, to interpret Scripture themselves. It must be done by a priest, etc in the RCC. They are forbidden to even enter a church that is not Catholic. That says a lot right there!

    No other church has the need to have a “titular head”! The local people in your church are able, by the “Gifts of the Spirit” to interpret the scripturs themselves. When you TRUST in GOD, the Holy Spirit, HE will inspire you to read the scriptures and interpret them to you.

    Bible studies and sharing will also be used by the Holy Spirit to teach you. The Catholic church does not trust in the Spirit.of God to teach you.(they are just words, they are not deeds but lies as they DO NOT TRUST ) They are the controlers of you and all you do, say and feel. It’s more than an American can tollerate. Freedom is who we are.!

    These other countries, Argentina as one, has a dictatorship in place. Most catholics there don’t even go to church (mortal sin ,by the rcc) they were baptised as babies. No actual ” Yes ” by you, just by your parents. Jesus baptised people who could make their own choices.

    WHEN THEY SAY there are BILLIONS OF CATHOLICS, It’s a a lie. So many have left and don’t care a hoot over the pope. Those indoctrinated to the” hilt “, still want some one else to make their choices for them. They take no responsibility to check to make sure this is what GOD REALLY WANTS FOR THEM.This sort of reasoning, victimizes them..

    How sad. Jesus came to set us Free not to demonize us with original GUILT. He died for all, so that we might have “NEW Life IN HIM and have it Abundantly”. “TRUST” IS THE KEY WORD!

  8. Since Pope Francis( I think… it is Francis Xavier, rather than Assisi) as Xavier , along with Ignatious Loyola, founded the Jebbies. I must look up the differences, they be many. He maybe just mad enough at the dictatorship and what it’s done in Argentina, to do something against” all people” who wish to contol other,s in the name of Jesus Christ. That might be a good prayer to see justice again in a supposed christian church.

    1. My understanding is that he chose the name for St. Francis Assissi and that it reflects his commitment to the poor and oppressed, which he seems to have been genuine about in Argentina. Now what we have to do is convince him that child victims of sexual abuse by priests deserve to be included in this focus of his ministry. We are poor in spirit, having been spiritually as well as physically violated; we are oppressed by the ongoing affects of the abuse and by the authorities of the church that treat us like criminials as opposed to vicitms. Maybe a letter writing campaign is in order.
      That’s an ongoing problem…how to communicate with any of the church authorities, you only get as far as under secretaries to the assistant to the …. etc. It’s possible that some of them are actually concerned but their advisors just dont let people through. I hand delivered a copy of my book to the Office of the Congregation for the Clergy in Rome…trying to get it to whomever was in charge at the time. I never heard from him. Very frustrating. I’ve given up trying since. But maybe this guy is worth trying to communicate with. Let’s give him a chance?

  9. It has been quiet on more sites that discuss the Child Sex Abuse Crisis in the church. I noticed on my blog that traffic is up but comments are down. I wonder why?

    As for Pope Francis, only time will tell. I am glad to see someone from outside of the Curia ascend to the thrown of St. Peter. I was watching events unfold in Rome over the past few weeks and I just could not get past the flagrant display of oppulence. I have trouble with the fact that the Vatican Bank, run by our moral leaders is an outcast in the international banking community for its money laundering practices. I look at many of these men who have turned a blind eye to the predators in their own Sees parading as if they are above reproach. The sight of Cardinal Mahoney made me particularly angry.

    I hold out no hope for the future because hope is not a strategy. I don’t see the church changing, even with a new pope.

  10. I have a wait and see attitude on this pope, I have heard what the media and church said about him, now I will wait and see what he does. I will not be satisfied until every Victim has an opportunity for Justice. All the enablers and abusers must be exposed.

    1. Ditto. Havent watched any news coverage really I figure does not matter what they say. I am waiting to see actions. Tired of all the chatter I want to see change.

    2. Not only should the abusers and the enabelers be EXPOSED (imo) but TRIED and found GUILTY for their CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY..

  11. I have prayed for Pope Francis but I do not feel hopeful. I would rather be pleasantly surprised if he were to truly do something useful like turn in all those priests, bishops and cardinals who were responsible for the cover ups.. In fact, I would be amazed and joyous because that would be a start. First, he can start off with sending Cardinal Law back to the states….that would be a start…

    1. Pat Becker,
      I don’t see anything like that happening. Remember, “Pope Francis” was picked by the other Cardinals. They would never pick someone opposed to their status quo.

      1. Yes Nicholas. That’s why I said I would be “amazed and joyful”…not holding my breath here…

  12. A relative of mine summed up this whole process perfectly. A group of high-powered businessmen (some corrupt) just voted on their new CEO. That’s really all this is. My hope is that the new CEO will run the “company” with a new level of morality that is so desperately needed. I don’t see it as probable, but I will pray for that miracle.

  13. Notwithstanding the immense importance of addressing sexual abuse issues, I hope that we can expand the dialogue to include other critcally important needs in the Church. In light of present interest and opportunity for change, I have attached a brilliant essay by a very wise theologian, one of many who have been sadly underappreciated by previous popes. Thanks for reading. Margie Colton

  14. It is interesting how the tone of the comments from prayer to hope at the beginning of these comments have become more and more pessimistic. Prayer – Hope? Might be just as effective to keep our fingers crossed. Change from the Vatican doesn’t have a prayer of a chance.


  15. I don’t hold out much hope that a new Pope will censure of defrock a priest ,Bishop or Cardinal involved in crimes or cover up, that a past Pope has not…I think they would not go against each other in that public way. Moving forward with any new cases may be different, we will have to wait and see.
    I am encouraged though by what seems to be a greater sense of humility of Pope Francis than many of the hierarchy of the Church. I have never understood the pomp and circumstance, the luxury, the mansions, gold rings, limousines that many of the hierarchy seem accustomed. It goes against everything that I was taught in 16 years of Catholic education. Now that their leader seems to be a humbler man, will that transfer throughout the Church? Probably not for some, but at least he is setting an example. I have been watching news coverage and so many of the clergy interviewed seem in awe of Pope Francis rejecting some of the perks that go along with the position..which shows how far we have moved away from the true message.

  16. Kathy Kane,

    I appreciate your perspective. Didn’t He say: “Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there I will be also.” As I have said before, the music and art and architecture are lovely and a credit to the skills of men, but He lived the simple life and gave up all that he owned. How much does the Vatican own?


    1. Just a few points about that:
      Jesus indeed lived a simple life when He came “for the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matt. 10:6) and then He was “the suffering servant” and died on a cross. When Christ reigns on earth from the throne of David in Jerusalem one day, He will be surrounded by glory and untold riches.
      Rome “thinks” it is “reigning” now, for Christ. That is why they collect glorious furniture and dress. Too bad they don’t re-read the bible.

  17. Amen to that Nichols!
    I still don’t see why Kathy gets on your case for not being a catholic( but being a Christian.) What’s the difference? Aren’t we all followers of Jesus Christ here on c4c?There is one God for us all. Except possibly some of our abused brethern, who have been spiritually murdered.? Your agenda,( as she calls it) as far as I could see, is always to save the person from going to a place that doesn’t care! Plus people who have been denied the beauty of “knowing scripture” in a new way. My daughter said she really felt that the rcc deprived her of the beauty of learning from scripture, rather than from an interpretaion that was anything like what Christ proclaimed in HIS Gospels. We should not be” guilt ridden” but have the Freedom Christ has given us. May the God of our Universe, our Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit bless us all.

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