Since the Catholic Church is one of the wealthiest, most powerful organizations in the world, it's always a big deal in the media when a pope-change occurs. Yesterday, as reported on WIVB, Pope Francis I officially succeeded Benedict as the next pope. Let's take a look at some highlights:
No pope has ever taken the name Francis before. Maybe the church, in its ways, would like to reinvent itself, but probably not. Francis is the first pope elected from South America and the first non-European in over a millennium. He is 76 years old, proving that usually a cardinal has to be at least 75 to be the pope.
This was a comparatively quick conclave. This is usually not the case, which seems strange. One would think, since God chooses the pope, that it would not want such a large flock to be leaderless for long. Evidently, God seemed to want to get this one over with. Something to the effect of , "Alright, boys, let's figure out who the next Big Cheese is fast this time," might have been heard over St. Peter's Square in a loud, booming voice.
Francis used to be Jorge Bergoglio. As the archbishop of Buenos Aires, he had a reputation for humility, which anyone can respect. He was known for foregoing luxuries such as a limousine, preferring to take public transportation. Unfortunately, he is conservative, taking the usual stances of pro-life and anti-female ordination. Nobody's perfect.
All things considered, we can take comfort in the fact that this pope does not look like Emperor Palpatine.