Pope Francis

John Hooper “Pope Francis elected as 266th Roman Catholic pontiff” http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/13/pope-francis-mario-bergoglio-election

アルヘンティナ人のJorge Bergoglio 枢機卿教皇に選出される。フランチェスコ1世。英語圏ではPope Francisだが。羅典アメリカ出身の教皇は初めて。但し故国アルヘンティナでは、1970年代から80年代にかけての軍事独裁政権時代に フランチェスコ1世或いは彼が属するイエズス会が果たした政治的役割については(今でも)深刻な議論の対象であるようだ*1。ところで、アルヘンティナの軍事独裁政権というのは同時期の隣国チリのピノチェト*2と比べて、あまり知られてはいないのではないか。

Andrew Brown “The choice of Jorge Bergoglio as pope shows a decisive shift from Europe” http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/13/jorge-bergoglio-selection-pope-church-shift


The election of a Latin American Jesuit would also have been unthinkable 30 years ago. The choice of Bergoglio shows a decisive shift in the church's centre of gravity away from Europe and towards the continent where most Catholics live, and where the challenges to the church are rather different to those in Europe.

The overwhelming problem in Latin America is the shortage of priests and the shrinkage of believers. Although 40% of the world's Catholic population live in the continent, it can no longer be automatically assumed that a Latin American is a Catholic.

Pentecostal Protestantism has made huge inroads*3, and, nowadays, secularism as well. These are problems which the church under John Paul II and Benedict XVI refused to confront head on. The choice of Bergoglio shows the question can no longer be dodged. If anyone can break the logjam around clerical celibacy, he is the man.


Battered first by a widespread rebellion against compulsory celibacy – more than 100,000 priests were dispensed from their vows to marry in the seventies and Eighties before John Paul II made it almost impossible as part of his more general crackdown on liberalism – and then by the reputational damage of the abuse scandals, the clergy had dwindled and aged at astonishing speed.

The average age of American priests has risen from 34 to 64. The whole of England and Wales produces fewer priests a year than almost any single Anglican diocese. Seminaries have closed all over the Western world. A very high proportion of the remaining clergy are thought by qualified observers to be gay, if often celibate. In the developing world, the regulations on celibacy are widely flouted.

Yet the obvious remedy, demanded by many laity as well as some brave priests, to end compulsory celibacy for the parish clergy, would bring fresh problems in its wake and is certain to be resisted until it becomes entirely unavoidable. Nonetheless, the The election of a Jesuit is significant here. Priests in religious orders, unlike the "secular" parish clergy, take deliberate vows of celibacy. It is not offered as part of a package deal with their vocation. So they are better placed to see the effects of the discipline on those who less willingly accept it.

Although it is very difficult to imagine a wholesale release of already ordained clergy from their vows, a move to ordain already married men would make a huge amount of sense and may well be inevitable.