“Pope Francis is a man of great spirituality who is known for his commitment to doctrinal orthodoxy as well as for his simplicity of life,” Rev. Sirico said. “Like Benedict XVI, he combines concern for the poor with an insistence that it’s not the Church’s responsibility to be a political actor or to prescribe precise solutions to economic problems. In that regard, he’s a model for all Catholic bishops and clergy throughout the world.” (Source)
He is a Latin American Jesuit with a huge heart for Social Justice, and yet distanced himself early on from currents of “Liberation Theology,” which would have us practice the Gospel seen through a Marxist prism. Such a stance may have made him unpopular in his seminary days. It takes humility to buck trends and stick to the truth. It takes humility to recognize your own weakness and ask for prayers. It takes humility to live humbly as a prince of the Church. (Source)
In a letter to the monasteries of Buenos Aires, he wrote: “Let’s not be naive, we’re not talking about a simple political battle; it is a destructive pretension against the plan of God. We are not talking about a mere bill, but rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.” He has also insisted that adoption by homosexuals is a form of discrimination against children. This position received a rebuke from Argentine president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who said the church’s tone was reminiscent of “medieval times and the Inquisition”. (Source)
He consistently preaches a message of compassion towards the poor, but some observers would like him to place a greater emphasis on issues of social justice. Rather than articulating positions on matters of political economy, Bergoglio prefers to emphasize spirituality and holiness, believing that this will naturally lead to greater concern for the suffering of the poor. He has, however, voiced support for social programs, and publicly challenged free-market policies. (Source)
This election is significant for two reasons.
1) We have a “social justice” Pope which will bring respectability back to the phrase – firstly, in bringing respect for life and true marriage back into the “social justice” equation and secondly, putting another nail in “Liberation Theology”. While there might be some premature excitement among the social justice crowd, this Pope is going to really, really be a disappointment to them – at least on the political front.
2) He’s a Jesuit. Maybe there’s going to be a real reform of that once formerly great Society.
I still can’t get over this: “Francis, rebuild my Church.”