Currents News Staff
Six years ago, today, Francis turned heads as the first pontiff to take St. Francis’ name, the only Jesuit pontiff and the first one from Latin America.
This white smoke signified a historic moment for the Catholic Church.
The current Vatican Spokesperson gives his first impressions on that day.
“Thinking back to the 13th of March six years ago, the first impression that comes to me is amazement, surprise,” said Alessandro Gisotti.
This surprise was seen and continues by Pope Francis’ unexpected messages and gestures.
“How I would like a Church that is poor and for the poor!” said Francis on March 16, 2013.
In addition to caring for the poor, is his passion for welcoming refugees. After visiting a refugee camp in Greece, he brought several Muslim families with him to Rome.
“It would move you to tears. What have these children seen? Look at this,” he said about a month later.
Pope Francis has carried out reforms, both in the Curia and in ages-old mentalities. He’s encouraged Christian initiatives to solve issues such as youth Church involvement to care of the environment.
However, the main challenge for him has been the Church’s sexual abuse crisis.
“His commitment for peace, for dialogue, and especially his commitment to confront the scourge, the terrible scourge of abuse of minors. I think that this is an example for everyone of us,” said Gisotti.
With all this, he hasn’t slowed down in his travels, with upcoming trips to Morocco, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania and perhaps Japan this year alone.
Pope Francis predicted a short pontificate, but in comparison to Urban 7th who was pope for 13 days and Pius 9th with 31 years, we’ll have to see just how long he’ll remain as head of the Catholic Church.