Much attention has been given to the pope’s concern for the poor, which was reflected in his choice of Francis as his papal name. But as Pope Francis explained to journalists three days after his election, he also chose the name Francis because St. Francis of Assisi is “the man of peace. … He is the man who gives us this spirit of peace.”
What kind of peacemaker will Pope Francis be?
First, we must acknowledge that Pope Francis comes to the international stage with no training and little experience. He was educated as a chemist before entering the seminary, where his training was heavy on literature, philosophy and theology.
But to think of Jorge Mario Bergoglio as a hick totally ignorant of the world outside Argentina would be a mistake. As a Jesuit, as archbishop of Buenos Aires, and especially as a cardinal, he traveled to international meetings where he met people of different cultures and political circumstances. He listened and learned. Living and working in Argentina under Juan Perón, a military dictatorship, the Guerra de las Malvinas (aka the Falkland War), and Argentina’s transition to democracy was also an education in itself…