After the historic resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, the inaugaration of Pope Francis paving the way for change in the Catholic church, around the world and in Abilene.
This past Tuesday, St. Peter’s Square in Rome was crowded with thousands of witnesses to the Catholic Church’s inaguration of its first Latin American pointiff, Pope Frances, previously known as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina.
“I think the change is all positive,” said Sacred Heart Catholic Church’s Father Bush. “He looks like he’s a good man.”
Father Bush said he did not know much about the newly elected pope aside from what has been published in the papers, but Pope Francis’ younger age and South American nationality will set him apart from his Pope predecessor.
“He will be the first non-European elected to the position for the past 1,300 years,” Bush said. “It will certainly bolster the perception of the church with regard to the fact he’s from South America rather than Europe.”
Though not even a week into his inaugural week, Francis has already made an impression as a pope concerned about the well-being of the poor. His chosen name of “Francis” without numerals following was Pope Francis’ intention of honoring St. Francis of Assisi, an advocate for those in poverty. The Pope’s principle was exhibited at his ordaining ceremony Tuesday, where instead of donning a solid gold symbolic Fisherman’s Ring like that of popes before, Francis had his made of gold-plated silver, demonstrating a desire for simplicity.
The impact on the Abilene Catholic community of the newly appointed pope is hard to measure at this point, Father Bush said, though he brings a new perspective and opinion that is sure to make an impact on the 1.2 billion members of the worldwide Catholic church.