In choosing the name ‘Francis,’ new pope sent a clear message

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#20 - Santo by Rob Hatem, Kansas City, Mo. (Acrylic Paint) - "'Santo' is Spanish for "saintly" and this is a portrait of Pope Francis in the spirit of Saint Francis."

#20 - Santo by Rob Hatem, Kansas City, Mo. (Acrylic Paint) - "'Santo' is Spanish for "saintly" and this is a portrait of Pope Francis in the spirit of Saint Francis."

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(RNS) When Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected pope on March 13, 2013, he picked a new papal name -- “Francis.” It sent a clear message that he would be a new kind of pontiff with his own ideas for the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.

  • Sister Geraldine Marie, OP, RN, PHN

    That is EXACTLY how all the popes should have acted from the beginning! There wouldn’t have been a need for reformers or a Protestant Reformation if they had!
    And there wouldn’t have been any anti-Semitism either!
    Bravo Papa Francis!

  • Sister Geraldine Marie, OP, RN, PHN

    Bravo Papa Francis! All popes should be like you! Then there would have been no reason for reforms or the Protestant Reformation.
    Or for anti-Semitism.

  • Betty Clermont

    St. Francis founded an order of paupers. This pope has never asked his Vatican, bishops or superiors of religious orders to divest their assets to help the poor. “The real-estate assets of the Catholic Church worldwide have been estimated at two trillion dollars, a sum comparable to the G.D.P. of Russia, India, or Brazil.” ( The papal quarters in the palace are Spartan. ( The Casa Santa Marta guesthouse, where Pope Francis lives, was built in 1996 to be “more comfortable and less strenuous for elderly cardinals.” (wikipedia) The cardinals had suffered from the summer heat in the palace. (

  • Bernardo

    Great name but it does not change the flawed theology and history of his religion.

  • “He is much more normal,” Wister said. “And I think it terrifies some of the high-living people in Rome. I think Francis is saying to all the bishops and priests, ‘Keep it simple.’ ”

    Some people like Francis because he is shaking up the order; dumping dominionists, warning against climate change and disparaging some traditional pretensions.

    But he is still selling nonsense. And that is pretentious enough – as there is probably no god – and his god in particular is among the least likely (“the Zombies arose and visited everyone in Jerusalem” – Matthew 27:52).

    As far as I can tell, none of the Catholic claims are true. He might as well be selling hats for Leprechauns. And lying to children about Hell and Jesus is profoundly horrible. The Pope isn’t a legitimate authority of anything but the machinations of a primitive network of superstitions – he deserves a shrug.