- Holy Father provisionally confirms heads and members of the Vatican curia Vatican Information Service:
Holy Father Francis has expressed the desire that the Heads and members of the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia, as well as their Secretaries, and also the President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State, continue "donec aliter provideatur", that is, provisionally, in their respective positions.
The Holy Father wishes to reserve time for reflection, prayer, and dialogue before any final appointment or confirmation is made.
- The Jesuit Pope Calls the Jesuit General America 03/16/13.
- Yesterday afternoon, Pope Francis paid a visit to Cardinal Jorge Mejia in the Pius XI private clinic. Cardinal Mejia, who is 90 years old, is archivist and librarian emeritus of the Holy Roman Church. (Vatican Information Service).
- 'How I would like a church that is poor, and for the poor', by John Thavis. 03/16/13. Pope Francis held his first meeting with the press today, and impressed them with what has become characteristic low-key charm. [Full text of Pope Francis' address to the media].
After his prepared remarks, the Holy Father explained why he had chosen the name "Francis":
putting aside his written text, the Pope said: “Some people didn't know why the Bishop of Rome wanted to call himself 'Francis'. Some though of Francis Xavier, Francis de Sales, even Francis of Assisi. I will tell you the story. At the election I had the archbishop emeritus of Sao Paulo next to me. He is also prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Clergy, Cardinal Claudio Hummes [O.F.M.]: a dear, dear friend. When things were getting a little 'dangerous', he comforted me. And then, when the votes reached the two-thirds, there was the usual applause because the Pope had been elected. He hugged me and said: 'Do not forget the poor.' And that word stuck here [tapping his forehead]; the poor, the poor. Then, immediately in relation to the poor I thought of Francis of Assisi. Then I thought of war, while the voting continued, until all the votes [were counted]. And so the name came to my heart:: Francis of Assisi. For me he is the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who love and safeguards Creation. In this moment when our relationship with Creation is not so good—right?—He is the man who gives us this spirit of peace, the poor man … Oh, how I wish for a Church that is poor and for the poor! Afterwards, people were making various comments: 'You should call yourself Hadrian because Hadrian VI was a reformer. We need reform.' And someone else said to me: 'No, no, your name should be Clement.' …'But why?' 'Clement XV so you can pay back Clement XIV who suppressed the Society of Jesus!' These were the jokes."
- European Muslims see dialogue hope in pope name, by Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor. Reuters 03/15/13:
St. Francis crossed enemy lines unarmed to meet Sultan Malik al-Kamil and discuss war, peace and faith. He spent several days with the Muslim ruler, unsuccessfully trying to convert him, and was then returned safely to the Crusader side.
Muslim leaders in Italy, France and Germany, where St. Francis and his Franciscan order of brown-robed friars are well known, struck an upbeat tone.
"As Muslims of the West, we take as a particularly hopeful sign the reminder, in the name of the new pontiff, of the great example of sanctity and opening to the East and to Islam that St. Francis of Assisi gave," the Italian Islamic Religious Community (COREIS) said in a statement.
- Among his villas miserias. "Francis is one of us", by Paolo Mastrolilli. La Stampa "The Vatican Insider" 03/16/13. Drugs, violence, disease, poverty: imagine any problem whatsoever and you will find it here among the narrow alleys of the villas miserias, the favelas of Buenos Aires. "Instead our feeling", Father Toto swears, "is happiness, because Father Jorge became Pope and now the lowly have a friend in Rome".
- The story from the Sistine Chapel on Pope Francis' election, by David Gibson. Religion News Service. 03/16/13.
- Is Pope Francis a fraud? - So says the former Dominican, now Episcopalian Matthew Fox, in a fit of left-wing sedevacantism. Salon 03/16/13.