Now is the leader of the world’s largest religious community – the Catholic Church with 1.2 billion members – finally been chosen. The Argentine Jorge Mario Bergoglio, previously archbishop and cardinal.
As the first pope ever he calls himself for Francis.
What the Catholic Pope has elected an official name, is it certainly no coincidence. Experts have already pointed out that the new pope is named after the founder of the Franciscan St. Francis of Assisi (1181/2-1226).
From the church of history, he is known to celebrate a simple life, being the epitome of humility and uncompromising to help poor and sick.
Several experts commented that the new pope will focus on these traits. This is not least due to Bergoglio that previously waived a number of luxurious comforts, which belonged to him by virtue of his office.
It is undoubtedly true. But there is a possibly for an additional and very important signal in his official name.
Francis of Assisi epic charity included not only all humans but also animals, yes, the whole universe. They were, in his opinion all God’s creatures equally.
He is, for example, pictured as he preached to birds, and in the so-called Sun Song he praised his God for having created ‘Brother Sun’, ‘Sister Water’ and ‘our Sister, Mother Earth’.
It was in this context – and in the shadow of the escalating environmental crisis – that the American professor Lynn White in 1967 proposed to make Francis of Assisi to organic farmers patron saint.
It was actually a reality in 1979. He appointed Pope John Paul II to be ‘heavenly protector of the organic growers’.
A few years later it was implemented on a cutting-edge event.
In Francis’ birthplace of Assisi in Italy gathered in 1986 representatives of the religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam in particular WWF. The aim was to join forces in the fight against pollution of the Earth.
This resulted in the so-called Assisi declarations, where the five world religions assured the world on their green heart. This was followed by similar events elsewhere, including the Copenhagen event in 1990.
Francis of Assisi has – apparently – not been sitting on his hands in his heavenly Elysium.
The future must, however, show whether it was his bleeding heart also for nature that inspired the newly appointed Pope to call him Francis.
At the very least, the now retired Pope Benedict XVI promised to support climate-friendly direction, yes, he has even been called “the green pope ‘.
One can hope that Pope Francis will continue that legacy being the head of one of the world’s religious power centers and he has better opportunities than most to turn a powerful blow to a better climate.
And the case is more important today?
Not only has the church fought against the pagan ‘natural religion’ for many centuries but according to several researchers they also contributed to the development of the cynical nature, which constitutes a basic part of the context for today’s fatal climate change.
The excuse would certainly come late when Christianity traditionally strained a vision of this world that goes back to the New Testament.
Here you can read:
“My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18.36); “You unfaithful, do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? ‘(Letter of James 4.4);” If any man love the world, the love of the Father is in him “(1 John 2.15);” But our citizenship is in heaven “(Philippians 3.20).
Many of the early Christians expected indeed the end of the world within a short time. But it did not happen, and it’s still not happened. Twenty centuries after.!
After that and for many centuries it has been emphasized in man’s heavenly salvation, that we live in exile in this world, called by Pope Benedict XVI in 2011 and people must take care of the earth as a gift from God.
Now, friendship with the world has apparently been friendship with God.
It is ironic that the First Vatican Council (1869-70) stated the pope’s infallibility in terms of a doctrine on faith and morals – not many religious organizations have contributed to so many abuses and so many mistakes as the Catholic Church.
If there is anyone who should seek absolution, it is the church itself.
Unfortunately, the new pope Francis – as previous popes is in favor of clerical celibacy, and as long as it stands like that, one must also assume that sexual violence against children continues to some extent.
According to a new report released by the Center for Constitutional Rights, they give a harrowing picture of the Vatican, that has so far been the protection of pedophile priests and the Catholic Church’s reputation without protecting the children.
The number of victims of rape and other sexual violence committed by Catholic clergy between 1981 and 2005 is estimated to approach 100,000. And the number is likely to grow significantly when Latin America and Africa will be subject to more exploration.