As news about Pope Francis flooded the media, we asked some of our contributors—Mamiverse Moms—to share their take on the new pope. They are all Latina and live in different parts of the country and even the world. In fact, our first contributor shares her point of view straight from Argentina, home to Monseñor Bergoglio. Here is what they said.
“Argentineans like to say that God is Argentinean and this time they are closer to the truth. Monseñor Jorge Bergoglio has been chosen as the new pope in Rome. He will be known in Argentina as Francisco I. Argentina is living a moment of pride and nationalism based on this news. Even Jews, Muslims and Atheists are happy to know Latin America is undergoing significant changes. Bergoglio is also a known “Anti-K,” (anti-Kirshner) that is, he’s in disagreement with the Fernandez-Kirshner administration. So all the Anti-Ks in this country are secretly happy, as the President will have to hear now from the Pope what she didn’t want to hear from Bergoglio when he was only a Cardinal.
Argentineans are ecstatic. They have Maradona, Messi, Queen Máxima and now, a new pope. I am an atheist but see in this new head of the Church the possibility for a new approach to the problems in Argentina.”
—Veronique De Miguel (Mom of two based in Buenos Aires, Argentina.)
“I was happy to learn that the new pope was from Latin America. I have high expectations for Pope Francis. I have heard he is a simple man, not so concerned with pomp and circumstance but with helping the poor and marginalized. I hope that is true. My wish is that he will be more progressive, accepting the gay members of the Church. I also hope he will end celibacy as a requirement for the priesthood and have zero tolerance policy for sex abuse. Finally, I hope he reforms the hierarchy so that women can have a seat at the table and take on more leadership roles in the Church. I’d like to see men and women work side by side not women working under priests; maybe such shifts will change mindsets in the workplace elsewhere…I can only hope.”
—Diana Limongi (Mom of one based in Queens, NY.)
Read related: What if the Next Pope Were a Woman?
“I grew up Catholic, in a conservative family. My mother is Mexican-American and she made sure we made it to Mass each Sunday. My father did not practice religion of any kind. In my twenties, I realized the Catholic Church was not for me. I became a born-again Christian, and now attend a non-denominational Christian church. I do not judge anyone for what they do or do not believe in, it’s not for me to say. I can only do what I feel is right for me.
With that being said, the announcement of the new pope does interest me. For so many years, I have watched the Catholic Church scramble. I’ve witnessed its fall from grace. We all know about the “problems” in the church, the cover-ups. Priest after priest committing horrible crimes against children. And time after time, the Church has done nothing! Wait, that’s not entirely correct; they do remove the offending priest from his home church and transfer him to another. That’s something, I guess. But it’s not the right thing; it’s not the Christian thing to do. A priest that molests children does not deserve the title of priest—they deserve to be arrested, put in jail and brought to trial…just like anyone else that molests a child. I hope this new pope, Pope Francis, will use his position to clean up the church and restore it to what it once was.”
—Rosalynda Thorn (Mom of two based in California.)
“The overwhelming amount of posts regarding the ‘First Latino Pope Announcement’ took me by surprise on social media. It wasn’t a surprise that the many Latino organizations, bloggers, online magazines, etc. whom I follow were sharing the news. What was surprising to me was how confused I felt about the news. On one hand, positive news about successful or influential Latinos usually makes me smile and eager to share. On the other hand, I have less than favorable opinions about the Catholic Church.
I am not Catholic. Raised by a Catholic father who rarely went to mass and a Baptist mother who attended Sunday service semi-regularly, I didn’t belong to either church. I was saved and baptized as a Christian when I was about 12 years old. As part of a study abroad experience in college, I went to the Vatican and became mesmerized with the traditions of the Catholic Church. I thought I could even belong. However, after much research and personal experiences with the local Catholic Church, I found that this place was not for me. I currently attend a non-denominational Christian church…semi-regularly.
It would be inconsiderate of me to dismiss such an important event for so many people whom I love. Honestly, the outpouring of love for the Latino Pope from my Latino Catholic friends and family moves me. It truly means something to them that their new Pope is from a Spanish-speaking, Latin-American country. It would also be hypocritical of me to say that this announcement is important to me, personally.”
—Melanie Mendez-Gonzales (Mom of two based in San Antonio, Texas.)
What is your opinion of the new pope being Hispanic? And, what do you expect from him?
Please comment below!