GREAT to hear waves of excitement over the new Pope. I am also excited about the appointment of Pope Francis, because . . .
- he is from South America.
- he is a humble man, riding the bus to work and refusing ecclesiastic titles.
- he has a heart for the poor.
- he wants renewal of the church, which is awesome.
- he is a Jesuit, and those guys are really cool!
- the charismatic Catholics really like him.
In Italy a few years ago, some friends and I met with Matteo Calisi, who heads up the 150 million people in the Charismatic Catholic Renewal, known as the Catholic Fraternity, and reports directly to the Pope. Lovely man, this Father Matteo, who invited us to speak in his church. Before the service, he was telling us how excited he was about what was happening in Buenos Aries, where he had visited, meeting the archbishop and seeing some of the communities there. I imagine he is totally pumped about having his South American friend living and working in Italy.
Tony Palmer, who helped arrange our meeting with Matteo, has reflections on meeting Bergoglio, who was then the archbishop of Buenos Aries.
"Here I am in Argentina in a meeting with Cardinal Giorgio Bergoglio, who made it very clear to us during the meeting that we were not to refer to him by 'Eminence' or 'Excellency' as these titles are not found in the Bible and that simply 'Brother' would be better . . . "
Father Anthony, quoted by Marc Van Der Woude, who was also with us in that Italian meeting, on why he thinks Francis is a surprising Pope.
Related: My experience with the Charismatic Catholics in Italy.