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Habemus Papam

Out with the old, in with the New World. Order and organization continues with the election of new elderly leader of the Catholic Church. The New York Times writes

The new pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio (pronounced ber-GOAL-io), 76, will be called Francis. Chosen Wednesday by a gathering of Roman Catholic cardinals, he is in some ways a history-making pontiff, the first from the Jesuit order and the first pope from Latin America.


But Cardinal Bergoglio is also a conventional choice, a theological conservative of Italian ancestry who vigorously backs Vatican positions on abortion, gay marriage, the ordination of women and other major issues — leading to heated clashes with Argentina’s left-leaning president.


He was less energetic, however, when it came to standing up to Argentina’s military dictatorship during the 1970s as the country was consumed by a conflict between right and left that became known as the Dirty War. He has been accused of knowing about abuses and failing to do enough to stop them while as many as 30,000 people were disappeared, tortured or killed by the dictatorship.


Despite the criticism, many here praise Cardinal Bergoglio — who likes the more humble title of Father Jorge — as a passionate defender of the poor and disenfranchised.

The folks over at Catholicism and Adventism seem pretty happy. They write: “A prayerful pope. A humble pope. May he lead Christ’s Church well!”

On the other hand, fresh off a Facebook upgrade, Doug Batchelor already has about 100 “likes” and about 45 “shares” of his quick post of the old anti-Catholic conspiracy theories.  

…virtually every other major Protestant reformer identified the Catholic Church as the beast of Revelation 13 and the Pope as Antichrist. But today most Protestants and evangelicals have historical amnesia when it comes to what separates Protestants and Catholics. Don’t get me wrong, Pope Francis may be an absolutely wonderful individual and I expect to meet millions of former Roman Catholics in the heavenly kingdom. But I am frankly surprised to hear so many Protestant leaders fawning over the new Pope.

Note that only former Catholics will see Batchelor in heaven.

On a more charitable note, the Battle Creek Enquirer asks an Argentinian who happens to be a local Adventist pastor what he thinks of the new Pope news. 

Though he’s not Catholic, he said Wednesday, “for (that) country, it is great, great news.”


“The people in Argentina are very happy because of course Catholicism is very, very big in Argentina” and Bergoglio has a history of service there. “It’s a great opportunity for the Americas.”

What are your thoughts on Pope Francis I? 

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