BIRTHDAY OF A REVOLUTIONARY PONTIFF
Fr. Victor Makinwa Ogunyemi
He was born Jorge Mario Bergoglio on 17 December 1936. He was once a bouncer and I mean a bouncer in a night club, a janitor before his training as a chemist and a technician in a food science laboratory. He joined the Society of Jesus known as the Jesuits, went through formation to be a Jesuit and a Catholic Priest. He was ordained a Catholic Priest on 13 December 1969, became a Provincial Superior of the Jesuits, he became a Bishop on 27 June, 1992 and was a created a Cardinal by Pope Saint John Paul II on 21 February 2001.
He has got some firsts attached to his history: He is the first Pope to be a member of the Society of Jesus, the first from the Americas, the first from the Southern Hemisphere and then first Pope from outside of Europe since Gregory III, a Syrian who reigned in the 8th century.
His Papacy started on 13 March, 2013 after the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and since then he has taken residence not in the Apostolic Palace for the Popes but at Domus Sanctae Marthae in Rome.
He chose as his motto Miserando atque eligendo which is rendered as lowly but chosen but literally in Latin it means “by giving mercy and by choosing.”
Pope Francis has maintained the traditional views of the Church on abortion, clerical celibacy and ordination of women. He is an outspoken critic of unbridled capitalism, consumerism and overdevelopment. He believes actions should be taken on climate change which he showed by writing and promulgating Laudato si.
Pope Francis has been seriously criticised by Catholic theological Conservatives on his position on relaxed ecumenism and admission of civilly divorced and remarried Catholics to holy communion which he did with the publication of Amoris laetitia.
Pope Francis is considering women to the order of Deaconess though studies are ongoing on it. He has appointed many women to dicasteries of the Holy See.He was the first and only Pope so far who has washed the feet of women during the rite of washing of the feet of the apostles which has always been reserved for male members of the laity. He has used small automobile during his visits to countries. He took a departure from red shoes reserved for the pontiffs. He decided to be wearing the red shoes indoors and the black shoes outside which he has always worn and with which he arrived to the Vatican as a sign of humility and austerity. He is noted more for humility and that reflected in his choice of his Papacy name, Francis. He is not known to adorn flamboyant Papal regalia or attire.
Pope Francis has drastically reduced bureaucracy logjams at the Holy See. He has increased accountability in the finance sector of the Church(Vatican Bank)and he has refocused the Church’s role in ministering to those in need.
Pope Francis has written some books and encyclicals. He has a music album to his credit titled Wake Up which was released on 27 November 2015 by Believe Digital label,with content like speeches and music,rock music inclusive. There are two biographical films titled Call Me Francesco and Francis: Pray for me. There’s is also a documentary film with the title:Pope Francis:A Man of His Word which was produced in 2018 and lastly on 21 October 2020 a documentary was released titled Francesco.
Despite the suffering he had from a severe case of narrowing of the colon, the Pope in a radio interview said he is not thinking of resigning and that he is living a totally normal life following intestinal surgery in July this year which made him spent 11 days in the hospital.
From Ilela in Sokoto State to Asa land in Abia State to Oron in Akwa Ibom State and Mefoworade in Osun State the terrific acts of the Papacy of Francis are being felt and same is the experience in the Oceania, Americas, Asia, Africa, Australia and Europe.
Everyone is saying happy birthday to the Vicar of Christ.
God bless our Pope
The great, the good
Let’s roll out the drums!