Niagara Gazette

Local News

March 15, 2013

New pope offers hope for change

Niagara Gazette — Habemus papam. “We have a pope.” 

Those Latin words and their translation were uttered many times over the past few days. On television, in the Vatican, in print and online, the words were repeated as the leaders of the Catholic Church gathered, bathed in secrecy and tradition. As white smoke billowed from the Sistine Chapel chimney, the world knew a new leader has been chosen on the second day of the papal conclave on the fifth vote.

While traditions are an important part of faith in the Catholic Church and other religions, so are reforms and transparency. Creating a church more receptive and open to the changing needs of its followers is crucial to remaining a viable institution. The world’s 1.2 billion Catholics have faced a crisis of faith in recent years, with sex-abuse allegations, reports of misuse of Vatican funds and a general loss of interest or support by many congregants.

We look forward to a fresh perspective with the installation Wednesday of Argentine Jorge Bergoglio as Pope Francis I. With a background as a Jesuit priest with a focus on charity and faith — eschewing the normal pomp and prestige of his predecessors serving as archbishop of Buenos Aires and instead being a voice for the people — Pope Francis offers the church an opportunity to be more attuned to its followers.

In a display of his humble lifestyle and perhaps of things to come, the day after being named pope, Francis returned to the hotel where he stayed during conclave in a simple, white cassock, paid his bill and retrieved his own luggage.

Although called a surprise choice by some, mostly because of his age — 76 — local Catholic leaders agree Pope Francis could offer a calming voice of change amid the turmoil the church faces.

Deacon Gary Terrana of Niagara Falls believes a conservative pope is a good thing and that Borgoglio is just that.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page
Poll

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results