MANILA, March 18, 2013—The election of Pope Francis as supreme pontiff promises hope for renewal in the Church, according to the head of an international ecumenical community.
Brother Alois, prior of the Taize community said that by choosing the name Francis, the new pope is sending a message that is associated with the name.
“The name he chose evokes the joy and love of the poor that inspired Francis of Assisi and which, until now, have been at the heart of his life in Argentina,” Bro. Alois said in a statement.
He also took on the pope’s unassuming approach, who asked the crowd of pilgrims to “pray for him” during his first appearance at the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica after his election.
“Those who were present in the square were visibly impressed that the new pope, before blessing them, asked for their prayers, bowing down and maintaining a long silence,” Bro. Alois said.
He noted that Pope Francis “brought together continuity and the promise of something new” when he asked the people to pray for his predecessor, Benedict XVI.
The Taize leader said he was expecting something new in the conclave and it happened in the election of Cardinal Bergoglio.
“The origin of this first pope, [who] comes ‘from the ends of the earth,’ expresses the universal dimension of the Church,” he noted.
He said Pope Francis “draws from the faith of Latin American Christians his vision of the relationship between the people and their bishop.”
“With the whole crowd present to greet and welcome him, I was touched that he widened our attention to a worldwide dimension by saying: ‘Let us pray for the whole world so that a great brotherhood may arise.’ (CBCPNews)