One year ago Thursday (Mar. 13), a relatively obscure prelate from Argentina made his debut as the new leader of the world’s oldest Christian church, stepping out onto the fabled balcony overlooking St. Peter’s Square and joking that his brother cardinals had gone to “the end of the earth” to find a pope.
“For an institution legendary for taking itself rather seriously, that flash of humor alone communicated that this wasn’t going to be your grandfather’s kind of pontiff.
“By taking the name Francis, the new pope awakened images of St. Francis, the beloved poor man of Assisi. He then knelt to ask the crowd to pray for him before imparting his official blessing, seemingly inaugurating a new era of papal humility.
“It was, as we know now, only the beginning.”
By John L. Allen, Jr., The Boston Globe — Click here to read the rest of this article. John Allen will be a guest speaker, “Perspectives on Pope Francis & A Climate of Change,” at the Voice of the Faithful® 2014 Assembly in Hartford, Connecticut, April 5. Click here for information and to register.