Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader sees that there is a new pope. Pope Francis. While your Maximum Leader was hoping for Linus II, Conon II, Lando II or (his personal favorite) Hilarius II; Francis is a good name.

In the few hours since Cardinal Bergoglio’s election (elevation?) to the rank of Supreme Pontiff, many talking heads are bloviating about “first this” and “new that.” Your Maximum Leader has decided to add his voice to the choir of idiocy.

First off, why does everyone assume that Cardinal Bergoglio chose Francis to honor Francis of Assisi? The pope was (is?) a Jesuit. Couldn’t it be Francis Xavier?

Secondly, your Maximum Leader is getting a little tired of people saying that Francis is the first non-European pope. There were popes from North Africa and the Middle East (a long long time ago admittedly). How about saying he is the first pope from the New World? Or how about the first pope from a place that wasn’t a part of the Roman Empire? That would suit your Maximum Leader better.

In terms of commentary, your Maximum Leader hopes that Francis will be an evangelist in the vein of John Paul II. He further hopes that Francis will be able to clean up the Roman Curia and bring some modernity to that institution. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t think that we will see any major changes in the theology of the Catholic Church. Don’t expect women or married priests any time soon. From what has been reported, it seems that Francis may teach compassion for the poor and tolerance of others. Both admirable traits that we would do well to emulate in our own lives.

At some level your Maximum Leader expects Pope Francis to go the way of Pope John XXIII. A short pontificate that is long on effect. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t expect a Third Vatican Council, but he wouldn’t be surprised if there was some sweeping change coming in the church. He isn’t sure just what, but he thinks something is coming.

Carry on.

Kevin Kim said:

Well… here’s wishing the man luck. He’s inherited two undesirable things: a giant mess and a giant bureaucracy. I don’t envy him.

I wish him luck too. Not a job I would want either.

Kevin Kim said:

For what it’s worth, Pope Francis confirms that he was thinking of Francis of Assisi: here.

“‘Right away, with regard to the poor, I thought of St. Francis of Assisi, then I thought of war,’ he told the assembled journalists. ‘Francis loved peace and that is how the name came to me.’

He had also thought of St. Francis of Assisi’s concern for the natural environment, he said, and how he was a ‘poor man, a simple man, as we would like a poor church, for the poor.’

St. Francis of Assisi, who gave up his own wealth and prestige, is revered among Catholics for his work with the poor.”

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