First Latin American
A new pope who chose as his first act a simple request: please pray for me.
The resignation of Pope Benedict XVI took the world by surprise and for good reason. More than six hundred years had passed since a pope last left his post.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now serving as Pope Francis, is a man of prayer and a man of action. He is also a humble man who has always promoted others over himself. In fact, it was Bergoglio who bowed out of the running in the papal election of 2005, to facilitate the rise of Benedict XVI.
Pope Francis faces a Catholic Church in crisis--a Church that has lost the media pull of John Paul II and is still hounded by pedophile scandals and the filtration of documents from former papal administrations. His first year may not be an easy one, but neither this man nor the Church itself has ever shied away from the challenges thrust upon them.
Pope Francis is austere and simple but has vast theological training. He is a man of his time but one who also travels by subway and bus just like any other citizen. Tirelessly fighting poverty and marginalization, he is a beacon of hope for the poor, persecuted sectors of the Church.
Francis is the biography of a meek man who has suddenly become one of the most powerful and influential men on the planet. Could it be a Catholic spring has finally arrived after a very long winter?