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Thank God that's over

By Alex Perrottet - posted Friday, 15 March 2013


Phew, thank God that's over. That's what 114 cardinals are thinking right now. One man is certainly not thinking that, and will most likely not be sleeping tonight.

Despite the pontificating of the reporters who descend on Rome and pretend they have reliable inside sources, let it be known that the cardinals do not lobby, or run for office - there is no "race for the Vatican." If they could, they would race in the opposite direction, which is kind of what Pope Benedict did when he resigned, and you can't blame him.

If reports are true about the voting in the previous conclave, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was the next most popular after Joseph Ratzinger, and he cried out, "please, not me" before his supporters moved across to endorse the man who became Benedict XVI.

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Once again, the most obvious and simple choice for the cardinals was chosen, and not the media pin-ups. It didn't take them long either. They knew the man the Holy Spirit wanted.

And what have we seen so far? A man who chose one of the most humble of saints for his name – Francis, reportedly after Francis of Assisi. A man who first paid tribute to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI by asking the hollering devotees to pray for him.

The next thing he did was to ask for prayers for himself, and bowed low and lengthy towards the people.

The latest news is this from New York's Cardinal Timothy Dolan about what happened when the cardinals left St Peter's last night: "So we take the buses over and cardinals kind of wait outside to greet the new Holy Father as he comes back to Doma Santa Marta…and as the last bus pulls up, guess who gets off the bus? Pope Francis. So I guess he told the driver, 'That's OK. I'll just go with the guys on the bus.'"

That's nothing new for him. We heard he is a man who takes public transport to work instead of a chauffeur-driven limo, cooks his own meals in an apartment rather than the Bishop's palace and wasn't afraid to stand up to President Kirchner to tell her some home truths. He said of her Government:

"It seems they have opted for making inequalities even greater…human rights are not only violated by terrorism, repression or assassination, but also by unfair economic structures that creates huge inequalities."

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And against rampant capitalism that seeks wealth creation to the detriment of others he said:

"The unjust distribution of goods persists, creating a situation of social sin that cries out to Heaven and limits the possibilities of a fuller life for so many of our brothers."

Here are some other reasons the cardinals have chosen well:

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About the Author

Alex Perrottet is an Australian journalist currently working in New Zealand.

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