The announcement of the election of Pope Francis is of course headline news, both because he is the first cardinal to be elected from the Americas and he’s chosen from among his peers out of the Jesuits. The Jesuits, begun by Ignatius of Loyola, are evangelists, known for their work in schools, colleges and seminaries.
The charter for the order begins with:
“Whoever desires to serve as a soldier of God beneath the banner of the Cross in our Society, which we desire to be designated by the Name of Jesus, and to serve the Lord alone and the Church, his spouse, under the Roman Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ on earth, should, after a solemn vow of perpetual chastity, poverty and obedience, keep what follows in mind. He is a member of a Society founded chiefly for this purpose: to strive especially for the defence and propagation of the faith and for the progress of souls in Christian life and doctrine, by means of public preaching, lectures and any other ministration whatsoever of the Word of God, and further by means of retreats, the education of children and unlettered persons in Christianity, and the spiritual consolation of Christ’s faithful through hearing confessions and administering the other sacraments. Moreover, he should show himself ready to reconcile the estranged, compassionately assist and serve those who are in prisons or hospitals, and indeed, to perform any other works of charity, according to what will seem expedient for the glory of God and the common good”.
With the issues inside the Vatican and it’s administration Pope Francis has his work cut out. With a billion followers we should pray that God will have freedom to lead this enormous denomination of the universal church.
He has written strongly against clergy whose version of holiness keeps unwed mothers out of the church, who will not baptize children with HIV, who are today’s hypocritical pharisees.
CBC is talking about social justice, dignity of human life, holiness, and purity! How often does that happen?