HCEF- During this holy season of lent, Catholics around the world were sacrificing, praying and waiting for their spiritual leaders—the Cardinals–to choose a new pope. On Wednesday, March 13, 2013, following much prayer and deliberation, 115 Cardinals elected their new Pope, His Holiness Cardinal Bergoglio of Argentina, the 266th Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church, and the first Pope from the Americas.
Like many of us around the world, the Vatican is deeply concerned about the fate of Christians in the war-torn Middle East. HCEF President/CEO Rateb Rabie, KCHS shares this sentiment.
“As we celebrate the election of Cardinal Bergogloio to the Papacy, we renew our prayers for peace with justice. We hope that Pope Francis will make the resolution of the conflict in the Holy Land his top priority. HCEF will continue our prayers for his blessed success!”
The Cardinals were seeking to elect a new pope that understands the problems of the Church today and one whose leadership skills will enable him to tackle these pressing and critical issues. Cardinal Bergoglio’s leadership skills are impressive, evidenced in part by his election as pope.
Elected Pope on the second day of the 2013 Papal conclave, and taking the papal name Francis, Cardinal Bergoglio is the first Jesuit priest chosen to be pope, and the first non-European pope in 1200 years. His Holiness was ordained to the priesthood on December 13, 1969, by Archbishop Ramón José Castellano, and attended the Philosophical and Theological Faculty of San Miguel, a seminary in San Miguel. The Society of Jesus, impressed with his leadership skills, promoted Bergoglio to serve as provincial superior for Argentina from 1973 to 1979. He was transferred in 1980 to become the rector of the seminary in San Miguel where he had studied. He served in that capacity until 1986. He completed his doctoral dissertation in Germany and returned to his homeland to serve as confessor and spiritual director in Córdoba.
HCEF wishes to thank and congratulate the Cardinals on their earnest prayers in this election, and in caring for, shepherding and overseeing God’s people, as we celebrate this exciting new day for the Roman Catholic Church!