So, what do you think about Pope Francis?

15 Mar

Pope Francis waving

How did you react when you heard the announcement? What did you think when you first saw him or heard him or read about him? What do you like about him? Do you think he will be a good Pope?

Please join in the conversation. Click “Leave a Comment” below. Write your thoughts, feelings, reactions. Read what others write.

49 Responses to “So, what do you think about Pope Francis?”

  1. Peggy Gluntz March 15, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    I like that he paid his own hotel bill, and rode in the minibus with the other cardinals.

  2. Gail Finke March 15, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

    I don’t know much about him. He seems to me, though, to be a real possiblity for unity. In the West we think of everything in terms of “liberal “and “conservative,” but I get the impression he doesn’t fit either category — he’s both. He’s a Jesuit with a Franciscan name, he was the Ordinary for Eastern Catholics in his diocese, he’s from America but not North America, he’s scientist AND the world’s most influential religious leader. I have high hopes that he will show us all how to be Catholics together!

  3. chrisnunner March 15, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

    I feel like that the Holy Spirit has been preparing the gift of this man to be our leader for all 76 years of his life. Now is the time for Jorge Mario Bergoglio to be our Pope Francis. How we need him! Thank you, Lord

  4. Char March 15, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    I’m just one happy person and am praying for his health and support from all of us!! A pope who chose the name of St. Francis of Assisi makes this Franciscan so grateful to our loving God!!!!!

  5. Deacon Tim Schutte March 15, 2013 at 2:37 pm #

    On Wednesday, I like everyone I have spoken to, enjoyed the excitement that was building as we waited for the curtain and doors to open and our new pope to appear. My joy doubles with each article I read about Pope Francis; his humility, care for the poor, riding public transportation and washing the feet of drug addicts in the poorest slums of Buenos Aires. God has given us a very good pope. AD MAJOREM DEI GLORIAM!!

  6. Maureen Sorensen March 15, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

    God is GREAT !!! I am over the moon with happiness and excitement, that Pope Francis was chosen to lead our church !! What a great example of love, humility,kindness, and compassion !! He truly lives our Faith out loud through his actions. We are so Blessed !!

  7. Shirley March 15, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    Pope Francis I will be a great blessing for the Catholic Church. His humility is amazing; he is a man for the poor. And, he is from South American, a first! Praise be to God that the Holy Spirit led the Cardinals for this decision!

  8. Stacey March 15, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

    Pope Francis seems to be very “real” – I like him very much – I have a really good feeling about him – I wish him the very best!

  9. hopevoices March 15, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

    When I heard the announcement that the smoke was white coming from the Sistine Chapel my heart instantly leaped for joy. God has been so good to His Church, and knows exactly who is needed at each particular time to lead us. After John Paul II died, I never thought I would love another pope as much as I loved him. But, I did! And as soon as I saw Pope Francis I, my heart was filled with love! I praise God for sending Him to us! JThe image of him standing on the balcony humbly with one hand raised and with his sweet gentle smile is forever etched in my memory. I know he will be a good pope, because he will do just what the Holy Spirit asks him to do! All praise and glory to God!!
    JoAnne Lacey

    • hopevoices March 15, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

      PS: I love what I have read about his work for the poor, and also that he is outspoken against abortion, euthanasia and homosexual marriage.

      • hopevoices March 15, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

        I just read this quote from Pope Francis…so beautiful!

        “Humans may be fallible but the Catholic Church as an institution remains sanctified through the Eucharist. … As a sanctified institution, the Church always deserves defending, even if its individual members err. ….

        The Eucharist is the source and at the same time the summit of all evangelization and a force that purifies and sanctifies the church … the bond between the Eucharist and the church is one that cannot be broken.”

  10. Mimi Stephens March 15, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

    I am so happy that someone who acts on the Gospel message is our Shepherd. Mimi Stephens

  11. pam hazard March 15, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

    I was working when the smoke was white and could not wait to get home and watch it replayed. I was in awe of the process and enjoyed signing up for pope alarm and adopted a cardinal to pray for. In learning of his chosen name I instantly loved him. It is St. Francis who my dad loved and the statue of him remains in dads garden. In learning more about our holy father, I am in awe of his humility. It seems the Holy spirit was at work on his being chosen. Prayers that he will renew our church as st.francis did.

    • michelle hendrickson March 15, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

      I love his chosen name too. It is my grandmothers name, my fathers name and now my daughter. I have never met a Francis (es) that I didn’t love. You know, I think I will get a St. Francis statue for my own garden this year.

  12. Cathy O'Toole March 15, 2013 at 6:50 pm #

    The more I hear and read about him, I am reminded of Mother Teresa’s comment to the priest who asked her about the source of her spirituality and she had him lay his hand on the table and pointing individually to his 5 fingers said, “You did it to me.” God bless Pope Francis and Blessed Teresa.

  13. Amy Pritts March 15, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

    It was exhilarating to witness his humble acceptance. I feel at peace that we will be led by someone like him. I look forward to getting to ‘know’ him.

  14. Margaret Strotman March 15, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

    Go and repair my house…..I was born in Buenos Aries so I am thrilled and hopeful.

  15. Marilyn Carlier March 15, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

    “What a warm and humble man, as he stood on that balcony. He appears to be a pope that will lead by example. A true servant of God. I thank you God for your gift to the church.

  16. Susan Renner March 15, 2013 at 9:08 pm #

    I am so excited about the pope I can hardly get enough of it. He is orthodox, not caving to the popular culture, and also shows us all how to be humble by caring for the poor in his midst.
    Another interesting fact…he is a proponent of Mary, Undoer of Knots. She is my very favorite Marian devotion. Many in the United States don’t know much about this devotion, but if you want to know more, and how Cardinal Begoglio brought the devotion to Buenos Aires, read here:

    • hopevoices March 15, 2013 at 10:24 pm #

      AMEN, Susan!! His Marian devotion is ssoooooooooooo beautiful!!!

      JoAnne Lacey

  17. Jack Lucia March 15, 2013 at 9:35 pm #

    As an alum of St. Bonaventure Univ. I love it that he is a Jesuit that lives like a Franciscan! Ha!

  18. Peggy Gluntz March 16, 2013 at 8:23 am #

    This seems like such a precious time: before Francis is changed by the demands of his office, security concerns, the curia, the public’s suffocating interest in everything he does. He still seems “normal.” I want to treasure this time and its particular flavor, for it is fleeting. I feel sorry for him, that his life as a regular person has come to an end, because I know he values that, and cultivates simplicity. I hope he doesn’t have to alter his very character for the church he loves! Talk about a sacrifice……

  19. Al Fritsch March 16, 2013 at 8:42 am #

    Pope Francis a good choice. His frugal and humble life style is inspiring. Other members of the church hierarchy would be wise to follow his lead, which is more in keeping with
    the ways of Jesus. Many Catholics are turned off by mansions and limousines which many
    Bishops and Cardinals seem to require. They do not send a good message to the faithful

    • Deacon Tim Schutte March 16, 2013 at 8:55 am #

      How true Al. But it is even deeper than cars and palaces. He is a man true to his vows as a professed member of the Society of Jesus; poverty, chastity and obedience. He lives his deepest convictions. He witnesses his core beliefs. As followers of Jesus Christ living in the Catholic tradition, are we doing the same? Do we live our core beliefs and deepest convictions? This man will be a true leader and preacher of the Gospel, not by words spoken but living and witnessing his core beliefs in Christ.

  20. Carol Drummond March 16, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

    I don’t know why, but as soon as he stepped onto the balcony I had a very positive feeling
    about him. That was before we read about his taking the bus and paying his hotel bill. There was just something about him. And when he asked the people to pray for him before
    he gave them his blessing, I was touched. I thought, here is a very humble man. When, in
    his first speech, he spoke of being concerned, not just for the people of the Church, but for
    ALL people it brought a tear and a sense of hope. I liked the fact that he chose to wear his own cross and not one of the fancy papal crosses as well. I would guess that the poor of this world will feel they have a champion in him, and those of us who have more than enough, will learn to” live simply, so that others may simply live”, by his example. I sincerely hope that his devotion to Our Lady of the Knots will help him untie the “knots” that the Church has been faced with. As for the rest, I’ll wait and see, and keep him in my prayers.

  21. Jan McRoberts March 16, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

    Seeing the black smoke turn to white brought tears of joy to the crowd of people waiting for the good news “A Pope has been chosen” Cheering was heard as a roar. Pope Francis! Knowing I am a part of the Catholic faith so alive and hope filled brought tears to my own eyes! Seeing the crowd standing in the rain for hours, all denominations and nationalities shoulder to shoulder waiting for a sign of hope in a world of turmoil and fear is ~ a thank you God moment!

  22. Rita Finkbeiner March 16, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

    My first reaction of hearing we have a new Pope was how fast the election went. Then I was anxious to check the TV, disappointed of not seeing the first glimpse of this wonderful event as it happened. I am thrilled at having him as our Pope and very much like his chosen name of Pope Francis. Immediately I could see the warmth he has and if I were to meet him I would be in awe and at the same time relaxed. What I read of all the past history of his life confirms that we are in good hands and very blessed that God has chosen him as our shepherd. Without a doubt he will be a great Pope.

  23. Father Rob Waller March 16, 2013 at 6:49 pm #

    Upcoming comments: If you were at the Saturday 5:15 p.m. Mass and are the first one to tell me so, I will send you five extra prayer cards!

    • Jack Lucia March 16, 2013 at 7:03 pm #

      I was there!

      • Shirley Soellner March 16, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

        Does the second person to tell you they were at 5:15 pm Mass get 3 Prayer Cards. I was there!

    • pam hazard March 16, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

      I was there and I know who I’ll give them to!

  24. Mike Hazard March 18, 2013 at 10:10 am #

    I prayed during the Vocation prayer prior to Francis that God give us a new Pope that would make the church relevant again in the midst of all the problems today. My ideas were different than what God gave us. However, how magnificant His response to my prayers with a humble man like Francis who walks the walk of Jesus.

  25. Father Rob Waller March 18, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

    for Kathy Emerson: On February 9, 2013 my aunt, the last of my Dad’s 13 siblings, passed away. She was a lifelong member of St. Joseph parish in Cold Spring, KY. March 13th of this year would have been her 92nd birthday. How happy she would have been with the selection of our new Pope occurring on her birthday. Oh, did I mention that this was my Aunt Frances :o)

  26. Father Rob Waller March 18, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

    for Judy Havill: My first thoughts on hearing of the Pope was a delight with his name. Francis to me represented Francis of Assissi and if the new Pope presents himself to the world as did St Francis it will be more than I ever could have hoped for. My second reaction was his smile – it seemed genuine; seemed from a man that was comfortable with himself and who he had become. know that I will not always agree with the Pope’s stand on issues but that is not what I want from that office . I want leadership, love and caring for members of the Church. I want wrongs to be acknowledged in a transparent manner and that those wronged be accepted as victims. I want the Pope to challenge us to treat others as Christ did and be Christlike as I have every indication he will be. I feel such hope for our Church, something that just hasn’t been there for sometime.

  27. Father Rob Waller March 18, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

    for Tom Vogel: First response was that it is great to have a man who appears to be close to the people. (Pomp and circumstance will not win hearts) representative of major population growth for the Faith. . All the challenges facing the Church today call for a vigorous leader with wisdom, stamina and qualities so Christ-like. His age is a major detriment. One fear is that the Curia picked another short timer they can control and who will not be able to clean house. If corruption and mismanagement continue we will become a dwindling object of disgrace before the world. I pray that he stands tall.

  28. Father Rob Waller March 18, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    for Carol Fahrnbach: Time will tell, but I think he is a man “for the people” from what we’ve seen so far. I wish he was a tad bit younger, but I think he will be a great pope. Viva le Francis!!! (It’s been years since I took French. Did I spell this correctly?!

  29. Father Rob Waller March 18, 2013 at 4:00 pm #

    for Anonymous: I was very pleased. I am sure he will be a very nice Pope.

  30. Father Rob Waller March 18, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    for Sally Karl: My faith in our God was overwhelmingly renewed! Again, after the spirit of Pope John 23rd, another humble “Jesus” like person at the helm to rid the over abundance of concentration on money and royal living, fancy trappings, while most of our world is starving. Service, compassion and love of people, that’s what Jesus taught. This man seems to project to all him know him, just those qualities we are all called to be. Thank you for asking.

  31. Father Rob Waller March 18, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

    for Georgia Meagher: I hadn’t heard anything about him, but it was so touching when he led the people in praying the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be; and he asked the people to pray for him. All those people in St. Peter’s Square were immediately united!

  32. Father Rob Waller March 18, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

    for Chris Moorman Nunner : I believe he is a gift from God sent to lead us in these troubled times.

  33. Father Rob Waller March 18, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

    for Ken Craycraft: Pope Francis is emphasizing the “pares” part of “primus inter pares.”

  34. Father Rob Waller March 18, 2013 at 9:27 pm #

    for Cathy O’Toole: I did too! I pray his presence brings hope to Bethlehem, Beit Jala and Cremisian.

  35. Susan Renner March 18, 2013 at 11:02 pm #

    I gave the wrong site in my previous post. Here is the correct link on how Pope Francis brought Mary, Undoer of Knots to Argentina:

    Click to access dossierFCgb.pdf

  36. Father Rob Waller March 19, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

    for John Diehl: The Holy Spirit inspired the Cardinals to elect just the man we and the Church need in these troublesome times. He’s a learned, holy man. He marks several “firsts” in the long history of the Church. The first with the solid background and sense of mission of a Jesuit. The first to come from the Western hemisphere. And, most important, the first to demonstrate his philosophy of life and the life of the Church by choosing as his namesake and mentor, compassionate and loving Francis of Assisi. It’s surprising and comforting that after these many centuries with 23 Johns, 16 Benedicts, a dozen Pius’s, etc..we finally have a Francis-oriented Pontiff. The Church and the world will thrive in the right direction under his humble, caring leadership.

  37. Mandy McDonough March 21, 2013 at 10:59 am #

    As a younger person in the Catholic faith, most of my childhood and younger teenage years were experienced under the leadership of Pope John Paul II. I truly believe that his compassion and outreach towards the youth are what allowed me to feel so connected to my Catholic faith growing up-he created a very “pro young people” feel in the church. When I was nearing the end of high school, Pope Benedict was elected. Now, don’t get me wrong, I think he had his own set of good qualities, but as a young person, his leadership was quite different from Pope John Paul II, and I found myself being disappointed in some of his decisions throughout my college years. I was still a proud Catholic, but I didn’t feel quite as connected to the church as I had when I was younger due to some of the more traditional changes that came back about in the church-it wasn’t what I had grown up with and wasn’t what I was familiar with…I felt a little left out! With all of that being said, I was absolutely thrilled when Pope Francis was elected last week. His humble demeanor and the way he spoke to the crowd upon first coming out on the balcony was truly touching. As more and more information has come out about his background, beliefs, etc. throughout the past week, I keep getting more and more excited. His dedication to the poor is something that I think we should emphasize more in the Catholic faith. Furthermore, his overall humility is something that I think really speaks to the younger generation (at least to me anyway!), and makes me feel refreshed about the church’s leadership. In short-I think he’s awesome!

  38. Father Rob Waller March 22, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

    for Rose Fredwest: I’m impressed with Pope Francis so far. It seems to me he is deliberately taking a “low key” stance to demonstrate the difference between Pope Benedict’s approach and that of Pope Francis. I hope he continues his attempts to bring the church together ala Pope John XX111. We shall see. He is going to need our prayers for unity of our church.

  39. Kristin Woodard March 30, 2013 at 12:08 pm #

    So here we are, two weeks into it, and it has been one “wow” moment after another. How wonderful that the eyes of the whole world are on our Catholic pope during Holy Week!! Who can ignore a pope that spends his first Holy Thursday washing the feet of troubled kids in a juvenile detention facility? I just love that he started actively ministering to the church right away, and not in the administrative way that everyone expected, but by serving the “least of my people”. Just feeling so blessed and excited for our Church!!

  40. christine becker March 30, 2013 at 1:05 pm #


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