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Darrel Manson

Habemus Papam! Pope Francis of Argentina (Was Benedict to resign)

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SDG   

White smoke!

This was the fifth ballot, one more than Benedict XVI, who was elected on the fourth ballot.

pope.gif

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Evan C   

A conversation with a friend this morning:

Friend: So who do you want to be the next pope?

Me: (pause) I want the person that the Holy Spirit selects.

Friend: (pause) So you go with the crowd.

Me: I can tell you who will be the next pope, though.

Friend: Really?

Me: Yes, the next pope will be the person who gets the most votes from the conclave.

Friend: Wow. How do you know that?

Me: My amazing gift of prophecy.

Friend: We'll have to kill you then. That's what happens to prophets.

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The new pope is Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina. He will go by Pope Francis.

So, not anyone on that Madness chart.

Edited by Justin Hanvey

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If you had him with the bookie, he paid 33:1.

I find it interesting that his age doesn't seem to have been a problem. John XXIII was about the same age and considered a caretaker when elected (but that was in the 50s). Just a bit younger than Benedict when he was elected, and health/energy became an issue.

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SDG   

Pope Francis! (Apparently not Francis I, until there's a Francis II.)

The first pope from the New World, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The first Jesuit.

An unprecedented name (apparently NOT a reference to the famous Jesuit missionary St. Francis Xavier, but the Poverello of Assisi). Not one pope in the last millennium has taken a brand-new name. The first "new" papal name since AD 913 was "John Paul," an amalgam of the two previous papal names.

Reportedly, he received the second-most votes in the last conclave, after Pope Benedict.

Edited by SDG

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Rushmore   

Looks like we get a black pope after all.

In all seriousness, this is very exciting news. Probably a good place to start to find out more is John Allen's profile of Cardinal Bergoglio written before the election.

Edited by Rushmore

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Thanks for the stats, SDG! What about the "X years since the last three consecutive non-Italian popes"?

Darrel Manson wrote:

: Isn't he just Pope Francis until there is a Francis II?

I was wondering that too. I was only 7 or 8 when John Paul I became pope, and he was followed only a month or so later by John Paul II, so I can't remember if he had the "I" after his name for the month or so that he was in office.

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I was only 7 or 8 when John Paul I became pope, and he was followed only a month or so later by John Paul II, so I can't remember if he had the "I" after his name for the month or so that he was in office.

He was known as John Paul. Like someone above said of Pope Francis. Since Benedict was chosen, my faith and theological reflection have gone from thinking I was an Anglo-Catholic because of the parish I belong to, to an understanding that I am clearly a high church Protestant. And yet this is the first papal elevation in which I have felt somewhat invested from the outside (of course). A few of these have happened in my lifetime. I was, heh, 3 when John XXIII became pope. Two things have developed that make my consciousness of this more compelling:

  • The proliferation of really good religion reporting over the last few decades. Real Clear Religion has not only brought articls from NCR, RNS, and Janet Daily of the Telegraph,but also Patheos, and IRD (with Juicy Ecumenism). Most religion sites have been covering this and the "touts" extensively.
  • The last few years have created an interesting divide between nones and people of faith. To that end I've become yet more aware of the fact that Christians of various hues should stick together as much as possible.

Given these two factors, I couldn't help but have almost a rooting interest this time.

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Tyler   

I guess we're supposed to believe it's a coincidence that Francis becomes Vice President on House of Cards, and now the Pope is named Francis.

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SDG   

Pay no attention to Rorate Caeli.

Isn't he just Pope Francis until there is a Francis II?

Maybe, although Vatican sources appear to be giving mixed signals (what else is new?). FWIW, I believe John Paul I used the I right away.

Edited by SDG

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SDG   

Yep, looks like I assumed incorrectly there, although I suppose the question isn't definitively settled until Pope Francis himself addresses the subject.

As archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Bergoglio has displayed a deep, active concern for the poor, and he appears to have a deep humility, even more than Pope Benedict, which is saying something. On the other hand, his zeal for evangelization and of course his Jesuit affiliation link him to Francis Xavier, though from this report it appears that that would be the secondary reference.

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SDG   
Thanks for the stats, SDG! What about the "X years since the last three consecutive non-Italian popes"?

Let's see.

It looks like the last single non-Italian pope before John Paul II was Adrian VI (1522–23), who was…Dutch. smile.png

The last time there were two consecutive non-Italian popes (before John Paul II and Benedict XVI) looks to be Urban IV (1261–64) and Clement IV (1265–1268) — both French, so that would be the most recent time we had two consecutive non-Italian popes from the same country. (What was the last time before that? More research needed. Urban IV was also a rare pope elected by the college of cardinals from outside their own ranks, i.e., he was not a cardinal at the time of his election. Technically the college of cardinals are the electors of the new pope, rather than candidates for the papacy per se, though in practice they nearly always elect one of their own.)

For three consecutive non-Italian popes…hm. It looks like the last time there were three, there were actually four, or even five … and it was nearly a thousand years ago.

Damasus II (1048, born in Bavaria) was succeeded by St Leo IX (1049–54, Alsace), then Victor II (1055–57, Germany), then Stephen IX (1057–58, Lorraine), and finally Nicholas II (1058–61, in what is now southeastern France). That's five.

But there's a caveat: In between 4 (Stephen IX) and 5 (Nicholas II) was an Italian antipope, Benedict X. (B10 was the brother of the notorious Benedict IX, who preceded the five popes listed above. B9 was a grossly immoral man from a wealthy and powerful family, and the only man in history to hold the papacy more than once -- ostensibly three times).

So there were four consecutive non-Italian popes, followed by an Italian antipope, and then another non-Italian pope.

Then again, those five popes (even including the antipope) only represented a time period of 13 years between Italian popes, which is shorter than the reign of Pope John Paul II alone. So we are currently living in the longest time period of non-Italian popes since…hm, I'll need to do some more research on that.

P.S. A footnote to the "three consecutive non-Italian popes" factoid:

While Pope Francis is a Buenos Aires native, his parents belong to Argentina's large Italian community, as you might guess from his middle and last names (Jorge Mario Bergoglio). In fact, his parents were both immigrants. So Pope Francis is much more Italian than I am Dutch. smile.png

Most sources say that his native language is Spanish, but it seems likely Italian was spoken in his household as well, and perhaps his neighborhood, Italian being the second most common language in Argentina. (In high school Suz had a Spanish teacher from Argentina who inadvertently lapsed from time to time into Italian, prompting students to respond, "Señora...Español, por favor?")

So Pope Francis could be the first native speaker of Italian to occupy the Chair of Peter since John Paul I. (In addition to Spanish and Italian, sources say he speaks fluent German; apparently he speaks some English, but I don't see anywhere that he's fluent. Another reason for me to press ahead learning Spanish.)

Oh, hey. That Italian connection could be another reason why he might choose to name himself after the Italian Francis of Assisi rather than the Spanish Francis Xavier.

Edited by SDG

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SDG   
The last time there were two consecutive non-Italian popes (before John Paul II and Benedict XVI) looks to be Urban IV (1261–64) and Clement IV (1265–1268) — both French, so that would be the most recent time we had two consecutive non-Italian popes from the same country. (What was the last time before that?

Answer: eighth century, when we had two Syrian popes back to back, Sisinnius (708, only 21 days) and Constantine (708-715).

Then again, those five popes (even including the antipope) only represented a time period of 13 years between Italian popes, which is shorter than the reign of Pope John Paul II alone. So we are currently living in the longest time period of non-Italian popes since…

Ever, apparently.

Starting in the first century, Saint Peter was followed by St. Linus, who was born in Tuscany, so the very first successor to Peter was an Italian. The next two popes, Anacletus and Clement, were both born in Rome itself, making Peter's fourth successor, St Evaristus -- who was born in Bethlehem -- the first non-Italian pope after Peter.

In the second century, St Hyginus (Greece), St Anicetus (Syria) and St Victor I (Africa) all had isolated non-Italian reigns, succeeding and succeeded by Italians. None of these non-Italian successors of Peter reigned more than 15 years at the most.

In the third century, there were two consecutive Greek popes, St Sixtus II and St Dionysius -- the first consecutive non-Italian popes, and from the same country -- whose combined reigns were 11 years. There were also a couple of popes whose birthplaces are not certain or unknown, but no significant footnotes to the general Italian hegemony on the papacy. There was also an Iberian pope, St Callixtus I.

As the third century turns to the fourth, there is St. Eutychian (about whom almost nothing is known), followed by two apparent Italians, then St Marcellus I (whose birthplace is unknown), St. Eusebius (a Sardinian, so, Italian), and St Miltiades, an African. None of this looks to add up to much non-Italian papal time.

In the fourth century, St Damasus I (Portugal) was preceded by Liberius, whose birth place is unknown; their combined reigns would be 32 years. They were followed by St. Siricius, a Roman.

Other interesting non-Italian popes include Theodorus I (Jerusalem) and John V (Syria), both seventh century, and John VI (Greece), eighth century, like the back-to-back Syrian popes mentioned above.

So John Paul II, alone, outlasted the longest previous non-Italian papacy since St. Peter, that of the five 11th-century popes, who were basically French or German. With Benedict and now Francis I, we are going on 35 years of non-Italians. Nothing else comes close. (Apparently, once every thousand years so far, there's a major outbreak of non-Italian popes!)

What about St. Peter himself? If we date his reign from around AD 33 to his death in the mid-60s, that might be as much as 34 years. OTOH, he wasn't bishop of Rome for all that time, and really the bishops are the successors to the apostles; the apostles themselves are a unique case. I think it makes more sense to keep the question to Peter's successors.

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SDG   
The first "new" papal name since AD 996 was "John Paul," an amalgam of the two previous papal names.

I got this date wrong. The last pope to use a brand-new papal name (not counting the amalgam name John Paul) was exactly 1100 years ago, in 913, when a pope decided to use his given name. No joke: He was Pope Lando. For some reason, still the one and only!

Edited by SDG

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