NRL News

New Pope offers his second blessing to pregnant woman

by | Mar 14, 2013

By Dave Andrusko

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

It was only a short notice in this morning, but one that pro-lifers heartily cheer: “Francis offers his second blessing as Pope to pregnant woman.”

The new Pope had prayed for nearly a half-hour at the altar of Rome’s Basilica of St. Mary Major. “Before leaving he greeted a married couple and gave his blessing to a woman, who is five months pregnant.”

It comes as no surprise that many media outlets would run headlines (or entire stories) the gist of which was that Francis I would be a “status quo” pontiff. That of course was code for, among other things, staunchly defending the unborn.

But as I listened to various programs last night and this morning some of the usual pro-abortion/”progressive” suspects were plainly suffering from a spasms of cognitive dissonance. They wanted to bash him, but it was difficult for them. Granted, the first Pope from South America has said that “abortion is never a solution” and has likened abortion to a “death sentence” for the unborn, but he is also an ardent defender of the poor. (Hint: Perhaps Pope Francis sees no incongruity at all.)

Again, those eager to criticize any Pope because he is Catholic (I am only half-kidding) also were momentarily stymied by his personal appeal. Virtually every story early on talked about Pope Francis as a humble man, a man of the people, who lived simply in Buenos Aires, Argentina, often taking the bus. If you have a chance to read George Weigel’s column, you will come away deeply impressed with the depth of the new pontiff’s prayer life and moved by his love for his Church.

For those who did not read Ernest Ohlhoff’s report late yesterday, here are a few background details about Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, the 76-year-old Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, who chose  the name Francis I.

The new Pope’s election Wednesday came after only a day and a half of deliberations—and reportedly five ballots–in a cloistered meeting known as a conclave. A huge crowd erupted in applause when white smoke billowed from a flue on the roof of the Sistine Chapel, accompanied by the pealing of bells (“to eliminate any confusion”).

Pope Francis is the 266th pontiff and his selection is marked by a number of firsts; the first Jesuit, the first Latin American, and the first to choose the name Francis.

The significance of the first Latin American Pope is expected to be received with great joy by the Latin American Catholics who a large percentage of the world’s Catholic population.

It is expected that Pope Francis will place a high priority on life issues because he served as a member of the Pontifical Council on the Family.

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Categories: Religious