Progressio welcomes the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, as the 266th Pope.

Pope Francis, as he will now be known, is the first Jesuit and first Cardinal from Latin America to be elected to the Papacy. He is also the first Pope to choose the name Francis, reflecting the gentle natured patron saint of the environment who is known for his simple lifestyle, humility and kindness. His choice of name echoes St Francis Xavier too, also a Jesuit, patron saint of the missions.

In 2009 Pope Francis, then Archbishop of Buenos Aires, called for an "ethical response to solve the problem of social debt" during a speech in which he also said that, "extreme poverty and the unjust economic structures that give rise to great inequalities violate human rights."

Mark Lister, Progressio's Chief Executive, has said: “We celebrate the election of a Pope from Latin America who is known to be a 'man of the people' and one who will prioritise the Catholic values of compassion for and solidarity with poor and marginalised people that Progressio is founded on.

"This choice of Pope by the Cardinals may signal a response to, and acknowledgement of, the growing number of Catholics in poorer countries and of the need to address the issues of social justice that Pope Francis has been so vocal about. We are hopeful that this Pope will also pursue a commitment to prioritising the needs of women who, according to UN estimates, account for up to two thirds of the world's poorest people."

After serving as Bishop of Buenos Aires for 21 years Pope Francis will now lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, 40% of whom reside in his native Latin America.

Although this choice of Pontiff came as a surprise to many, Pope Francis has been a Cardinal for 11 years and is known to be a very humble man, often travelling by public transport around Buenos Aires, as well as highly intellectual.

76 year old Pope Francis is a champion of social justice, siding with people living in poverty, conservative on issues such as the sanctity of life and said to be wary of media attention. He will be officially installed as the 266th Bishop of Rome at a special Mass on Tuesday 19 March at St Peter’s in Rome where many more Catholics from around the world are still flocking to join the hundreds of thousands of people who had gathered ahead of the conclave.

Photo: Pope Francis I greets people gathered in St Peter's square after being elected on 13 March 2013 ©



....Emulating the patron saint of animals and the environment(Pope Francis)

Remembering what Pope John Paul II declaration of St. Francis to be the Patron of Ecology On November 29, 1979.

and during the World Environment Day 1982, Pope John Paul II said that St. Francis' love and care for creation was a challenge for contemporary Catholics and a reminder "not to behave like dissident predators where nature is concerned, but to assume responsibility for it, taking all care so that everything stays healthy and integrated, so as to offer a welcoming and friendly environment even to those who succeed us." The same Pope wrote on the occasion of the World Day of Peace, January 1, 1990, the saint of Assisi "offers Christians an example of genuine and deep respect for the integrity of creation..." He went on to make the point that St Francis: "As a friend of the poor who was loved by God's creatures, Saint Francis invited all of creation – animals, plants, natural forces, even Brother Sun and Sister Moon – to give honor and praise to the Lord. The poor man of Assisi gives us striking witness that when we are at peace with God we are better able to devote ourselves to building up that peace with all creation which is inseparable from peace among all peoples.

For all these events,may I conclude by saying;

vestri autem beati oculi quia vident et aures vestrae quia audiun Matthew 13.16

May God be with the Pope and all people of goodwill who are taking actions to save the only one earth we share with all her inhabitants.

True,Let us protect the weak,creation and the environment

The world is running out of time to summon the political will necessary to solve the climate crisis. 2015 looms large as a critical year when we must act swiftly and strongly if we are to have any chance of limiting global warming to below 2 degrees C, let alone get back to the 350 parts per million of atmospheric CO2 that scientists say is necessary.
The Rio+20 Earth Summit in June of 2012 was meant to be the starting point for a three year push to 2015, but the summit ended in a whimper rather than a bang. 2015 will come and go with only a whimper as well, unless the international climate movement can generate an unprecedented level of political pressure for climate action. We need a massive and sustained show of force that disrupts the status quo and captures the public imagination. Now it’s time for us to realize this potential.
Humankind benefits from a multitude of resources and processes that are supplied by natural ecosystems. Collectively, these benefits are known as environmental services and include products such as clean water, healthy soils, carbon storage and biodiversity.