I was surprised at the speed with which the Vatican appointed a Pope as a result of his election by 115 cardinals eligible to vote. Further taking the new name of Francis in memory of the Saint of the Destitutes, St Francis of Assisi, is an indication of his humility and modesty, living in a small flat, cooking his own meals and taking the bus to work.
I think it is an example that the Catholic Church can pull a rabbit out of a hat, that seems so different but is so similar its not funny! Apparently he was the runner-up last time, and so his day has come. A priest, who is both humble and also from the Jesuit order is a contradiction, as the latter are intellectual snobs of the first order.
Whilst he is Argentinian he is of Italian descent, a son of an Italian railway worker and so as European as they go with fluency in most of the European Languages of Italian, Spanish, German and English, but no doubt will be able to grasp the big one, French to establish himself firmly as a European. However being considered both European as I did and also Latin American as others will, where a full 40% of Catholics come from, means he is an obvious choice to be Pope.
So let me express my heartfelt best wishes for a successful papacy and wish he steps down, when HE feels it is the right time, in the good old (young) tradition of the resignation of Benedict, to ensure that the Papacy is carried on by good, able strong and confident Popes, who know what they want, what their flock deserve and show exemplary leadership qualities to guide the Church through a few tough years, arising out of the scandals that the priests have caused to the Church, more than the laity! His age is his only question mark, but he can help in the various ways to minimize its impact if he is able to find a good team to work with.
It is early days for any drastic doctrinal changes, but one would nevertheless expect one or two major acceptances of contemporary reality. The Church is strong enough to withstand criticism, but a strong leader in the form of the new Pope will help the church regain much of its lost credibility due to the daily regimen of exposures and scandal.
It is possible that his one lung forced him to skip other activity and let him concentrate on the Church, and his disability has been the chance to direct his strong commitment to his faith, which will tend to his flock at this crucial time in the Church’s evolution. I trust he chooses his advisers carefully and with suspicion, so his team will be able to manage the PR of the Church and its activities well.