Those who hoped for a progressive pope might be disappointed that Bergoglio once said that homosexual adoption discriminates against children, and he's also opposed to contraception and abortion. But while he's not necessarily a reformer, Bergoglio has passionately taken up the Jesuit call to reach out to common people and to treat the poor with compassion. He once called extreme poverty a violation of human rights and said it was the duty of nations to address its causes.I don't think anybody could have thought we'd get some kind of secularly progressive pope. We'll see how it works out for the Church. As for the name, Francis can also refer to Jesuit #2-Francis Xavier, so he's got multiple angles covered.
"In our ecclesiastical region there are priests who don't baptize the children of single mothers because they weren't conceived in the sanctity of marriage," Bergoglio once told his priests. "These are today's hypocrites. Those who clericalize the Church. Those who separate the people of God from salvation."
Perhaps his largest flaw is that he's somewhat frail for a new pope. Bergoglio is a low-key, slow-moving 76-year-old with one lung at a time when the church needs a vibrant leader.
But in a recent profile, the National Catholic Reporter referred to him as "someone who personally straddles the divide between the Jesuits and the ciellini, and more broadly, between liberals and conservatives in the church." And as the son of Italian immigrants, he may succeed in bridging the divide between European and Latin American Catholics. What's more, as a Jesuit priest, he even chose the previously-unused name Francis -- a nod to the Franciscans, who are traditional rivals of the Jesuits.
By the way, seeing idiot Erick Erickson tweets got me to sign up for twitter. @afarmerinohio.