“I was taught theology for four years by Jesuits,” said Carosella, referring to the order that the new pope claims. “I greatly admire their long tradition of rigorous academic formation.”
Carosella said that the tradition shows through in Pope Francis, who is both the first Jesuit pope, and the first pope from the New World. The 266th pope is also the first non-European pope in centuries.Carosella and Francis also share a name.
“When I was confirmed, I chose the confirmation name Francis, for St. Francis of Assisi,” he explained. “There was much of St. Francis, the humility and simplicity of the Gospel message, in the pope. When he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires, the pope showed great love for the poor and outcast, which was reflected in his own simple lifestyle.
“In his inaugural Mass, given on the feast day of St. Joseph, the pope celebrated the beauty and goodness of God’s creation,” continued Carosella. “There was an emphasis on God’s love and mercy for all of humankind, which I think begins the groundwork for a dialogue both in and out of the church.”
As a final aside, Carosella remarked that he had stayed at the same hotel in Rome that Pope Francis stayed in for the conclave.
“Of course,” laughed Carosella, “when I checked out, it was under the same name that I checked in with.”
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