But why did the Jesuits feel it was so imperative to place a Jesuit on the papal throne at this time? Usually content to operate furtively in the background, why this extraordinary step of placing one of their own, openly, in power?
Above all other reasons, the general state of the Roman Catholic institution, reeling from the global priestly sex abuse scandal and various other high-profile scandals, was the main one. The fact is that, both in the religious and civil spheres, the Papacy has been losing ground in recent times, and it is the mission of the Jesuits to reverse this state of affairs. Historically, the Jesuit Order was founded at a time when the Papacy was reeling from the damage done to its cause by the Protestant Reformation. To prevent further loss of the Papacy’s temporal power, the Jesuits came into being and ruthlessly advanced the Papacy’s agenda. And in today’s world the Papacy is facing various threats, not this time from Protestantism, which is rushing Romeward at a phenomenal rate, but from an increasingly secular world, with even Roman Catholic Europe constantly going in directions not approved by the Papacy at all. Thus it was time, from the Jesuits’ perspective, to put a man in charge who could do something about all these problems faced by Rome. And very evidently Francis is proving to be just the man for the job – their job, that is.
“It is a well-established fact that the Jesuits throughout their history have caused many serious disturbances by their nefarious schemes within the civil governments of many countries. Over the centuries, they have justifiably earned their reputation as troublemakers to the extent that they were denied residence in some nations for varying periods of time. Nevertheless, their objective of increasing Papal religious and civil power beyond its previous height remains unchanged. Therefore, in order to move forward the Papacy’s drive for power in the current religious and civil arenas, this Jesuit Pope must efface the historic image of the Jesuit Order.”
There is a global crisis in the Roman Catholic institution. The Jesuits have again come to the fore at this time, in accordance with their ancient mission, to save the Papacy.
Despite Bergoglio carefully cultivating an image of being a gentle, kind, unassuming, modest man, beneath this image there is the iron will of the Jesuit. This man is no pushover. He did not rise to be the highest-ranking Jesuit in Argentina in a time of great upheaval and violence in that country by being a softie. He knows that he is there to perform a service to the Order to which he has devoted his life. The very first sentence of his inaugural address showed that he was utterly committed to using his position as pope with firmness and power. He said: “I thank the Lord that I can celebrate this holy mass for the inauguration of my Petrine ministry.” As pointed out by ex-Roman Catholic priest Richard Bennett: “Francis knew the claimed power that is embedded in the term, ‘Petrine ministry.’ As the official Catechism of the Catholic Church states, ‘…the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, namely, and as pastor of the entire Church, has full, supreme and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered.’ It is highly significant that Pope Francis began his speech by thanking the Lord that he could celebrate Mass for the inauguration of what he said was ‘my Petrine ministry.’ His opening sentence shows where his heart is; namely, in himself, in his position, and the power entailed in such a position. It is this particular idea, i.e. that the Pope is the Apostle Peter’s successor, which has been the undergirding authority for the Papacy’s identity in the world since the time of Pope Gregory VII in the eleventh century. The nature, indeed, the very identity of the Office of the Papacy of the Roman Catholic Church is at stake. Thus, the Papacy will concede nothing regarding this claim but rather use it to establish itself as the stable institution in the midst of current tumultuous times.”
2. He is Latin American
Why is this significant? For at least two reasons. The first being that South America is now the continent with the largest number of Roman Catholics in the world – over 40 % of all the earth’s Romanists live there. In Europe, Roman Catholicism is in decline, but in South America the picture is very different. And for a Papal system that wants to control the entire world; that longs to exert total control, for example, over the United States of America, a country into which huge numbers of Latin American Roman Catholics are pouring as legal and illegal immigrants, which is impacting the demographics and the entire voting process in the USA – appointing a Latin American man as pope of Rome would give a huge impetus to these things.
And the second reason why the choice of a Latin American is so significant is because this made Francis I a pope from the Third World! It is in the Third World – Latin America, Africa and Asia – where Roman Catholicism is experiencing its greatest growth, and choosing a non-European pope, a man from one of the ever-volatile, often poverty-plagued Third World countries, will do wonders for the progress of Roman Catholicism in these parts of the world. There had been a loud clamour, from various parts of the Third World, for a pope who understood them, and wanted to uplift them; a pope of liberal/leftist “social justice” policies. Some thought the cardinals would choose Peter Turkson, the cardinal from Ghana; but rather than take such a radical step and elect a black African, they chose instead a man who, although from a Third World country, was still tied very much to Europe. For the next point about Francis I is this: