Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
We have a pope! From 13 March 2013 the 76-year-old cardinal Jorge Mario Borgoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires, the primate of Argentina is the pope. The new pope took a name: Francis. This joyful statement of the cardinal Proto-deacon Jean-Louis Tauran has reached the whole world. We were witnesses of a kind of consternation which appeared among gathered believers on the St. Peter Square. For journalists had been competing with one another in various speculations just before the announcing this information to the world, and nearly certain main surnames of Italian cardinals were quoted. And here a hardly widely-known man appeared, as he said about himself – from the end of the world. Indeed, we must note that the candidature of cardinal Bergoglio had been considered during the previous conclave, when cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected. As some experts of the issue say, at that time the cardinal from Argentina received many votes, but he asked cardinals-electors voting for him, to give their votes for the cardinal Ratzinger. So, one can think that cardinal Bergoglio contributed to the election of Benedict XVI for the papal throne, and now Benedict XVI, stepping down from this throne, somehow contributed to the papacy of Francis.
So, we have the Holy Father named Francis. He comes not only from a far-away country, but also far-away from the continent of Europe. Argentina is a big country, extremely interesting, but when considering civilisation, far from the world’s forefront and somehow forgotten. And here, from this place where there is much poverty, where people find it very hard to live, the Pope comes out. The great patron is St. Francis from Assisi, as we remember he read Christ’s command: ‘Francis, rebuild my Church!’ This Saint loved Christ and the Church very much, enriched Christianity with new forms of prayer, penance and adoration, with a new kind of mysticism and he is surely leading the new Holy Father towards tasks of Peter’s Holy See nave.
The examples for the Pope can also be St. Francis Ksawery and St, Francis Salezy. The missionary of Asia Francis Ksawery was a Jesuit like the present Holy Father. Today the Church is looking broadly at the Asian continent and wants to evangelize it. For, Asia with big China, is awaiting Christ and His Gospels very much. Today St. Fancis Salezy, the patron of media, can be a special patron of the Holy Father because we are experiencing a kind of time of media, miracles can be done thanks to the progressing electronics and when considering the new evangelisation, it is possible to reach to people in all parts of the world. There is also St. Francis Borgia – all the saints named Francis can support the new pope as the patrons of the great work of the Church.
The Holy Spirit surprised everybody again, showed us the man who is slightly shy, who stood on the balcony of the St. Peter’s Basilica and started with the words of the Angelus Prayer, which Jesus taught us, and later he prayed for his predecessor. It was beautiful! Also his deep bow in front of people was moving and his request for a prayer for the new pope. Pope Francis also noted cordially that as the bishop of Rome, he will want to fulfil the ministry entrusted to him very well. It is an interesting discreet confirmation of consciousness of all duties of the new Holy Father.
So, we have a Pope who showed us his face of a man engrossed in prayer, who is direct and broadly looking at the life of the Church. Today the Church is standing with its new helmsman for the mission of life with the Gospel of Christ and proclaiming it to the world.
And we are also looking at the Holy Father Francis as Poles. It was so recently when blessed John Paul II was on the throne of St. Peter. In the memorable evening on 13 March 2013 we recalled ourselves the evening of 16 October 1978. There are a lot of similarities. Bishop Ryszard Karpiński, a suffragan of Lublin, who was a representative of the Polish Episcopate for pastoral ministry for Polonia in the world, mentions cardinal Bergoglio as a very kind and warm-hearted bishop. On 16 October 2006 the Bishop passed a letter to him from archbishop Józef Michalik, nominating the Polish priest – Fr. Jerzy Twaróg a rector of the Polish Catholic Mission in Buenos Aires. So, we have many signs which say that cardinal Jorge M. Bergoglio in a far-away Argentina was close to Poland and Polish emigrants. Surely, also now it is going to be so. Unfortunately, cardinal Józef Glemp is deceased, who – as far as we know – during the last conclave voted for the cardinal from Argentina, which was revealed later. So, he was very convinced about him and he would surely tell us more about him.
But, first of all, - ‘Habemus papam!’ . The Church has its supreme Pastor. And we can say confidently that the Only God in the Holy Trinity cared to give us the best pastor. We thank God for it and we thank the Holy Father Francis for accepting this great task.