Habemus Papam! And Nobody Wants Him!

14 Mar

Almost the entire Catholic world knows it by now: Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio is now Pope Francis. Not being part of the immediate papabili by either secular and Catholic news agencies, it was perhaps a surprise for most Vatican watchers specially because of the Pope’s Jesuit origins. You’ve read a whole bunch of facts about him already so I might get my hands dirty already with what I’ve read, so far, around the interweb.

Not even warming the seat of Peter, LGBT community has already been up in arms against the new Pontiff. Liberal Catholics see another person who is out-of-touch with the times. Meanwhile, Traditional Catholics are not impressed either with his, “less-than-eager” support for Summorum Pontificum, enumerating his faults as a Cardinal of Buenos Aires. Other blogs online seem to contradict this. Others say that those opposing Benedict in the last conclave in 2005 have finally won. How true are all these things?

It’s as if nobody wants him to be Pope — both the extremely liberal and extremely traditional Catholics.

While I am part of those who lean towards a more traditional view, I can’t help but feel sorry for the Holy Father. I am still in the middle. As a Catholic who knows Pope Francis only through the media, I had a sense of his fear of his new assignment in Christianity when he went out for his Urbi et Orbi. He looked nervous. And, frankly, awkward. I don’t feel he is comfortable at all in guiding the over 1 billion Catholics around the world. And yet, I am also saddened that what I was expecting didn’t happen — not because the Cardinal I was rooting for didn’t come out of the balcony — but because I was hoping for a continuity of the great start we had with Benedict. Have the ‘wolves’ won?

I’ve also read somewhere that people argue that the Holy Spirit didn’t select Francis — it is the Cardinal-electors that put him there and the Cardinals did not cooperate enough with the Holy Spirit and so we have this Pope. As if this Pope isn’t their Pope as well. (Sede Vacante anyone?) While I agree that it is the Conclave that selects, relying on the Holy Spirit’s guidance, I cannot say that this definitely is not my Holy Father.

This Pope, as I think about him him, is everyone’s Pope now. He may not be ideal for those on the extreme sides of the Church, but I PRAY that He will be guided well and that with his regnal name, he truly will build God’s Church. Rightly so.


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