Welcome Pope Francis!
Well, this was certainly unexpected.
Archbishop of Buenos Ares Jorge Bergoglio S.J. has been elected the 265th successor to Saint Peter, and has taken the name of Francis.
He's the first Pope from the New World, the first Jesuit Pope, and the first Pope Francis.
And he made quite a first impression.
He opened with a joke about the Cardinals "going to the ends of the Earth" looking for a Pope, then asked the crowd to ask God to bless him before he blessed them. Following this, he led a prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and after the traditional Papal blessing unexpectedly asked for the microphone back for a final word with the crowd.
I honestly hadn't heard about him at all before yesterday, but all I've heard since is good. Actually, wonderful.
He's a Jesuit, but he's one of the good Jesuits that most of the Order hates because he's actually orthodox. He's already been denounced as a hater because of his stern words against homosexuality and abortion (if the Left hates you, that usually a good sign). He has a reputation as a remarkably humble and simple man; eschewing the archbishop's palace and driver for a small apartment and bus rides. Heck, even after being elected Pope he's already ditched security to ride the bus with his fellow Cardinals back to the Domus Sanctae Marthae following the announcement.
I'm told that he has a keen intelligence and rather cutting sense of humor. He also holds a Masters Degree in Chemistry (!), which makes me look forward to him talking about faith and science (oh, and I just can't wait for someone to try to pull the old "the Church hates science" trick now!), and has taught theology and philosophy at the university level.
In short, it sounds like the College of Cardinals made another spectacular choice, and the next few weeks should be very interesting.
Vive Christus Rex!
E Vive Papa Francesco!
UPDATE: His first non-official act outside the Vatican was to present a bouquet of flowers to the Blessed Mother at the church of St. Mary Major. I'm loving this!