Pope Francis I (Francis the First) steps onto the world stage as the leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina will face a load of work in taking on the role of pope. First reports say he is a man of people, one who rides a bus with the public (although those days are over!) and is man with his own mind. The church will soon discover just what this man will become.
It takes some time for a papacy to be shaped. But the events of recent years will likely begin to determine what this leader will do. Clergy sexual abuse scandals will be high on the list. Reforming the administrative arm of the church will be another. But most likely other events, unknown to people right now will likely shape this man's term in office.
World events are moving at a rate that will engage the world's religions to bring effective answers. How this new pope will engage with other world leaders will be fascinating to watch.
Once again the world is transfixed on the great stage of Vatican City and Rome. You have to admit it is a well choreographed scene when a new pope is announced on the balcony of St. Peters Basilica. We have watched two of these events in the past eight years and it is always fascinating. Such a setting, the revelation of new popes, fascinates even secular minded people.
In this there is a lesson. Religion is still a potent force in today's world. Despite evidence that even a majority of Catholics pay little heed to church teachings about personal behavior, i.e. sexual mores, there still exists the small seed of fascination that can be sparked into something larger.
Bible prophecy shows a religious leader emerging on the world stage who will ignite a passion within people that will reach unprecedented proportions. That is why the fascination over the selection of a new pope is as important to watch as who the man is or what he may do.