As I write, our new Pope Francis has just finished celebrating his inaugural Mass as the spiritual head of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics. The ceremony marks the close of what has been a historic and unforgettable 40 days of Lent for Catholics.
The unexpected drama started two days before Ash Wednesday, when Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation — the first time a pope has stepped down in nearly 600 years.
Now, as we approach the start of Holy Week, we welcome a new Pope, who is the first non-European in nearly 1,300 years — and the first pope from the Americas.
The election of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, S.J., from Argentina is a sign of changing times.