5th Anniversary of Pope Francis

2013-03-13 00:00:00

Pope Francis is elected

The two-day conclave of March 2013 led to the historic election of the Catholic Church’s first Latin American and Jesuit pope, who took the name Francis. The world was stunned on the evening of March 13th when Cardinal Bergoglio’s name rang out from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica, and a humble man dressed in a simple, white cassock emerged from behind the curtain. “You know that it was the duty of the Conclave to give Rome a Bishop,” said Francis, “It seems that my brother Cardinals have gone to the ends of the earth to get one... but here we are... I thank you for your welcome.” Most memorable was his request for a blessing from the people in the square before imparting his own apostolic blessing.

2013-03-26 00:00:00

Pope Francis stays in Vatican hotel

To the shock of many inside and outside the Catholic Church, Pope Francis decides to live permanently in a Vatican guesthouse, instead of the traditional Apostolic Palace of his predecessors. He would later explain his decision in a ground-breaking interview: “The papal apartment in the Apostolic Palace is old, tastefully decorated and large, but not luxurious. But in the end it is like an inverted funnel. It is big and spacious, but the entrance is really tight. People can come only in dribs and drabs, and I cannot live without people. I need to live my life with others.”

2013-04-01 00:00:00

Cardinal Advisors appointed

Francis was given a reforming mandate by the College of Cardinals, and he didn’t wait long to act. A month after his election he announced the creation of the “C8,” or “Council of 8,” consisting of eight cardinals representing the different continents, and tasked with reforming the Vatican bureaucratic structures. Francis would later add a ninth Cardinal, Pietro Parolin, whom he appointed Secretary of State.

2013-07-01 00:00:00

First apostolic trips to Lampedusa and Rio

Shortly after his election, Pope Francis heard the news about African migrants drowning in the Mediterranean Sea attempting to reach Europe in decrepit boats captained by smugglers. He quickly had his first apostolic trip scheduled, and he flew down to the tiny island on July 8th. His homily during a Mass for the migrants would resound across the world as he criticized a growing “globalization of indifference” to the suffering of millions of human beings.

2013-07-28 00:00:00

First international trip to Rio

At the end of July Francis made his first international trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for World Youth Day. He told the young people of the world not to be satisfied with the status quo and to “make a mess” in the name of the Gospel. But the headline was the Pope’s press conference aboard the plane back to Rome where he famously said, “If a person is gay and seeking the Lord, who am I to judge?”

2013-09-19 12:19:56

First major interview with Jesuit magazines

Pope Francis made international headlines with his first papal interview published by Jesuit magazines on September 19. In, “A Big Heart Open to God,” Francis called himself a “sinner”; he said the church needs to speak about issues beyond abortion, gay marriage and contraception. He said the church is a “field hospital after battle… it has to heal wounds.” To pastors: “The confessional is not a torture chamber, but the place in which the Lord’s mercy.”

2013-11-24 03:33:11

First major magisterial document, Evangelii Gaudium

After the October 2012 Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization, Pope Benedict was expected to issue a major exhortation for the universal church. With his resignation, the duty fell to his successor Pope Francis. When the Synod authorities went to Francis (who was not at the Synod) with a draft document, Francis politely accepted, and then presented them with his own document on evangelization. “Evangelii Gaudium” or “the Joy of the Gospel” was issued November 24, and, in surprisingly clear language, outlined the type of church he wants: “I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security.”

2013-12-01 03:33:11

Pope Francis named TIME’S Person of the Year

“A place that measures change in terms of centuries doesn’t do relaunches often,” wrote Time’s contributors. The amount of attention Francis drew from the mainstream press in 2013 was astonishing. Receiving “Time’s Person of the Year” recognition was only a cherry on top of the cake. As negative as the image and narrative of the Catholic Church was in the press, it took one joyful, humble person to turn it around.

2014-04-01 03:33:11

S+L releases “The Francis Effect”

A documentary exploring the major themes that emerged in the first year of Francis’ pontificate, including: his new ways of communicating, outreach to the peripheries and his reforming mandate. The widely acclaimed film features interviews with cardinals, church leaders and well-known media personalities.aA documentary exploring the major themes that emerged in the first year of Francis’ pontificate, including: his new ways of communicating, outreach to the peripheries and his reforming mandate. The widely acclaimed film features interviews with cardinals, church leaders and well-known media personalities.

2014-10-05 03:33:11

Synod of Bishops on the Family

Having spoken for a year about the need for the church to be more “synodal,” that is, the bishops working together with the pope to discern the path forward, Francis leads the first of two synods on the family. The Synod sparked much debate in the Catholic world, as some bishops feared an opening of the Sacraments to divorced and remarried Catholics was being considered. Francis purposely convoked a “two-stage” synod to let the topic of family life simmer over the course of a nearly-two-year period.

5th Anniversary of Pope Francis

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