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Wednesday, March 13, 2013


On their fifth ballot, on 13March13...hmmm...the College of Cardinals selected Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, who represents a number of firsts:
  • Pope Francis (there was St. Francis of Assisi, but he was never a Pope)
  • South American (the only non-European born previously was the first Pope, St. Peter (right), who came from Syria)
  • Jesuit (Society of Jesus)
Thus, the Catholic Church of 1.2 billion people has materially broken with tradition.  Those UK bookmakers were wrong!

Pope Francis does have Italian roots.  He was just beaten out by Pope Benedict XVI eight years ago.  From all reports, he is humble, gave up his Cardinal home to live in a small apartment, and regularly took the bus around Buenos Aires, where he was born 76 years ago.  He has a master's degree in chemistry.

He appears to be mostly conservative, and will be challenged about what to do with that sexual abuse matter, birth control and women in general (only males can be ordained or become pope, for example), and a wide assortment of intolerance issues.

Anyway, how much more inspirational was it, for as the 115 cardinals peered up to the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, there is God creating Adam, only one of Michelangelo's nine primary Genesis frescoes (painting on plaster):

As some of you know, I analyzed religion in SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Humanity (Kindle edition for $3.99).  In particular, let me share an impish speculation about the creation of the Catholic Church:

So, therefore, place yourself back to circa 50 AD. Nothing much can be found about Jesus. Conflicting descriptions can be unearthed about this individual, but absent any miracles and the connection with Son of God. Is it possible that a group, say, the Antioch Jesus Movement, sees an opportunity to spur something called Christianity? So they pick a mortal of those days who might just fit a concept called the Messiah. They borrow selectively from early Egyptian, Indian, Chinese, Mexican (nah, scratch this, Columbus came 1500 years later) and Greek writings to create the legend of Jesus Christ around a real-life martyr. He was in his prime at the age of 30, so they choose 30 AD as the founding of Christianity. Could this incredible PR ploy have started it all? Did all this lead to the Catholic Church of today!


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