When Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio ascended to the papacy, it brought in a lot of firsts. First Jesuit to be Pope. First Pope from Latin America. First Pope from the Western Hemisphere. First Pope to take the name Francis.
It also launched a great deal of speculation. Will he be a doctrinaire, a progressive, a reformer? Will he address the church’s women issues? Celibacy? Contraception? Homosexuality (note: Jesus says nothing in the New Testament about homosexuality. Some claim it’s in Matthew:16, but that principally talks about divorce).
What we know is that as a Jesuit he’s taken a vow of poverty and leads a simple life. He’s a populist who has a huge concern for the poor. He took his name from St. Francis of Assisi, a noted reformer.
But the real question is: why are so many non-Catholics so interested in the Pope?