Friday, March 15, 2013

white smoke rising

Newly elected Pope Francis I
I watched with interest as the cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church convened, went under lock and key, and selected the next Pope. When the white smoke rose, 1.2 billion Catholics strained to understand the Latin pronouncement revealing his identity. In moments they were chanting his name: "Francisco!" Pope Francis has an enormous responsibility. And while I am not Catholic, I recognize the significant role he will play in years to come as the most visible Christian leader on the planet. With the scandals that have rocked the Catholic church in recent years, Pope Francis needs our prayers for wisdom, humility, and a steady reliance on God for his strength. If all the media attention to Catholicism has raised questions for you about what Catholics believe, I invite you to check out a series of blog posts I wrote last summer during a course I took at Notre Dame, a Catholic University in Indiana. I wrote as an evangelical, but seeking to understand rather than attack Catholicism. We may not have a new Pope, but the fact that others do will affect us indirectly for years to come. Only time will tell how.

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