Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Papal Ponderings

The appointment of a new Pope has been a matter of great interest for me. Considering that typically when one is selected he remainds in his position for many years, I did not anticipate another conclave any time soon. Historically speaking, the selection of a new pope has almost always been heralded by the death of his predecessor. While Benedict XVI is certainly well along in years, he does not seem overly unhealthy.

And yet he resigned, taking the entire world by surprise in the process.

Although many reasons have been given by different media sources, it seems that Pontiff Emeritus (ex-Pope) Benedict himself cited advancing age and poor health as reasons for the resignation. Certainly that makes sense for many reasons:  connecting to younger generations, adequately battling the many problems facing the church, having the energy and focus to carry out the papal duties, to name three...

With all that in mind, a new pope was selected today: Jorge Mario Bergoglio, henceforth to be known as Pope Francis. The 76 year old Argentinian man is already catching attention as the first Jesuit pontiff, as well as the first to be selected from the Western Hemisphere.

I refrain from making criticisms concerning The Catholic Church, and I will be eagerly watching to see if he can usher in a new era for The Church and break past the issues it constantly seems to face. My only question is this: If 85 year old Benedict XVI stepped down partially because he thought he was too old for the job, why did the conclave select Francis who is not even a full ten years younger? 

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