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Loyola president releases statement on first Jesuit to become pope

Loyola press release - March 13, 2013

Today, Loyola University New Orleans president Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J., Ph.D., released a statement on the announcement of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, chosen as the first Jesuit to become pope:

“Habemus Papam! (We have a new pope!) Today, we are witnessing history as we share this moment together. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who was chosen from the Jesuit order to become the archbishop of Buenos Aires, was named the new pope—the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church, the first Jesuit pope in history, and the first pope from the Americas.

As a Jesuit and Catholic university, Loyola University New Orleans continues its mission of preparing students to lead meaningful lives with and for others; to pursue truth, wisdom, and virtue; and to work for a more just world. These are integral to the Jesuit tradition of education which is deeply rooted in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. I am delighted to see a man who entered religious life as member of the Society of Jesus become the new spiritual father of the faithful.

The name chosen by Cardinal Bergoglio, Pope Francis, is also historic and holds significant meaning. St. Francis of Assisi is one of the most iconic and beloved saints in Catholicism, and his name symbolizes poverty, humility, simplicity, and reform. This is fitting of our new pope.

Since 1998, Pope Francis has been archbishop of Buenos Aires, where his style is low-key and close to the people. He rides the bus, visits the poor, lives in a simple apartment and cooks his own meals. In his home country, many know him simply as “Father Jorge.”

As we learn more of the vision of Pope Francis in the coming days, please join me in praying for the new leader as he begins his historic papacy.”