"That is the cost of having such spontaneity and such openness. That is something new happening right before us," Father Rosica said.
Pope Francis addressed his listeners as "brother cardinals" rather than the traditional "Lord cardinals." He described their relationship as "that community, that friendship, that closeness that will do us all well."
He acknowledged differences in the church but said that the Holy Spirit "is the one who makes unity of these differences, not in equality, but in harmony."
He concluded with a strong call to evangelization.
"Do not give in to pessimism and discouragement. We have the firm certainty that the Holy Spirit gives the church, with his mighty breath, the courage to persevere and also to seek new methods of evangelization," he said.
"The Christian truth is attractive and persuasive because it responds to the deep needs of human existence, convincingly announcing that Christ is the only savior of the whole person and of all persons. This announcement is as valid today as it was at the beginning of Christianity when there was a great missionary expansion of the gospel."
According to Father Lombardi, the papal nuncio to Argentina is reporting a revival there. At a parish where the nuncio says Mass, the pastor has been spending all day hearing confessions, many from people who hadn't made one in more than a decade.
During his last Sunday homily before the conclave, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., had said that a revival of the sacrament of reconciliation would be the sign that the church's new evangelization was taking root. On Friday the Italian newspaper La Repubblica credited him with convincing American cardinals electors, the second-largest national group, to coalesce around Cardinal Bergoglio.
Cardinal Wuerl didn't respond to an inquiry about that, and others say he wasn't the only American to offer early support for the Argentinian. Americans who knew the Argentinian well urged others to consider him. Though there wasn't unanimity, American support is said to have made an impact.
Among those who know Pope Francis well is Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the retired archbishop of Washington, D.C., who was too old to vote. He has stayed with Cardinal Bergoglio several times.
Other archbishops show him their cities' great monuments, "But when you travel around with Pope Francis in Buenos Aires, you are brought to see all the poor places. He'll say, 'Down there is a very poor, poor neighborhood where we put a church, and I am trying to work with the people there.' It's very beautiful," Cardinal McCarrick said.
Pope Francis "is the most uncomplicated brilliant man," he said.
St. Francis was much the same, he said, and "probably accomplished it by being so loving of all people, especially those who have nothing. Secondly, by being so committed to peace and the ending of anger between human beings. And third, by loving nature. I think that we will find this Holy Father a real champion of the care of our world, physical care of our world."
American cardinals have dismissed Italian press accounts of a grim battle between conclave factions who wanted an Italian or a Vatican insider or a Vatican outsider.
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, a longtime pastor in Pittsburgh, appeared near tears as he spoke of the holiness of the conclave experience.
"Nobody takes this as some kind of [political] convention. That's not what it is. The conclave was momentous and awe-inspiring," he said. Conversations outside the conclave "were addressing deep questions of faith, of how you make the church go and work."
So far, Cardinal DiNardo is inspired by what he sees, saying the new pope is firm in his core beliefs but open to the ideas of others.
"I do believe he will seek consultation from his brothers in the college [of cardinals] who elected him," he said.
Ann Rodgers: firstname.lastname@example.org.
(c)2013 the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
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