Miserando atque eligendo.
Lowly yet chosen.
By showing compassion and by choosing.
(Thanks to Fr. Z for the explanation!)
So begins the 266th pontificate of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church founded by Christ 2,000 years ago.
I'm especially struck today by the pope's role as "Pontifex Maximus." Pontifex comes from pons (bridge) + facere (to make), so "bridge builder." The Pope is the great bridge builder, between us and God via Papal infallibility, but also the bridges that bind human society.
There is a particular bridge that immediately popped into mind with the fact of a Jesuit Pope who was also the ordinary of the Eastern Catholics in Argentina. It has been said that the Society of Jesus was founded (or at least used frequently) to combat Protestantism and Islam. He's basically been drowning in both western and eastern theology for some time now, in a certain sense "breathing with both longs of the Church" even though he only has one himself.
To state that more succinctly, I am curious to see what if anything he does to continue the creation of ordinariates and other forms of outreach to bring Protestants back into the fold, and to encourage the conversion of our Muslim brothers and sisters.
No matter what, I'm looking forward to seeing what His Holiness Pope Francis will do.
V. Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Francisco
R. Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatum faciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius.
Deus, omnium fidelium pastor et rector, famulum tuum Francisco, quem pastorem Ecclesiæ tuæ præesse voluisti, propitius respice: da ei, quæsumus, verbo et exemplo, quibus præest, proficere: ut ad vitam, una cum grege sibi credito, perveniat sempiternam. Per Christum, Dominum nostrum. Amen.