When a Settlement Board meets it usually takes about a year to appoint a minister.  The Conclave of Cardinals made their decision in less than a week, catching everyone by surprise.  I was listening to the morning news on the radio when it was interrupted to announce white smoke from the Vatican chimney.

We have Pope Francis I.  Everyone thinks he’s named for the famous saint Francis of Assisi.  Although some have noted that he could be named for his order’s founder St Francis Xavier.  If one has read the Life of Francis they would discover that he wasn’t just a fluffy ecologist, but also an observant theologian, a miracle-worker, and a border-crossing evangelist who in the middle of the Crusades preached before the Sultan of Egypt!

This is the first Jesuit pope.  Previously this order preferred to step back and take orders as they were called upon.  This is something new.

This is the first Argentine pope.  An earlier pope agreed to divide the Americas between Spain and Portugal.  That action created Portuguese speaking Brazil while the rest of Latin America is Spanish speaking.  Is he going to re-divide South America and give the Falklands to Argentina?