We shall see. The cardinals have picked Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio to be their new pope. He’s taken the papal name Pope Francis, becoming the first pope to use that name. I wish him the best of luck. He’s inheriting quite a mess.
As for what sort of pope I think he’s likely to be, well, we do know a few things about him. He’s not big on the gays, but he made headlines washing the feet of AIDS patients. We also know that he’s apparently a very humble, decent man, who moved out of the cardinal’s residence in Argentina and into a small apartment where he cooked his own meals. He’s also a Jesuit, he’s from Argentina and, beyond that, I don’t know much about him. I hope he’s better than Benny 16.
It’s also worth noting that, despite what CNN has said twice, Francis will not be the first non-European pope. Quite apart from Peter, there were also three African popes (Victor I, Miltiades, who may have been black, and Gelasius I). Francis is the first American pope, the first Latin American pope, the first South American pope, the first Jesuit pope, the first Francis, the first New World pope…but he is not the first non-European pope.
At any rate, I do hope that Francis winds up being everything that a humanist like me would hope for with a pope. Time will tell. It always does. Good luck, Francis!