Thursday, March 14, 2013

Greg Venables on Pope Francis

I have to admit, as I watched the new Pope being introduced yesterday, I was not comfortable, as you may have noticed on my twitter.  A Jesuit . . . who chooses a new name?  I’m not paranoid (I’m really not!), and I’m not Dan Brown, but I found that just a little scary to be honest.

However, I got a good sleep and then read the following from Bishop Greg Venables:

Many are asking me what Jorge Bergoglio is really like. He is much more of a Christian, Christ centered and Spirit filled, than a mere churchman. He believes the Bible as it is written. I have been with him on many occasions and he always makes me sit next to him and invariably makes me take part and often do what he as Cardinal should have done. He is consistently humble and wise, outstandingly gifted yet a common man. He is no fool and speaks out very quietly yet clearly when necessary. He called me to have breakfast with him one morning and told me very clearly that the Ordinariate was quite unnecessary and that the church needs us as Anglicans. I consider this to be an inspired appointment not because he is a close and personal friend but because of who he is In Christ. Pray for him.

I trust Greg Venables and his judgement.   That he thinks that highly of the new Pope comforts me.  And Bishop Venables is a straight talker and no flatterer.  He is also deeply evangelical in the old and good sense of the word; so for him to say the new Pope “believes the Bible as it is written” is saying something indeed.

Moreover, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio and Bishop Venables worked side by side in combating government hostility to the church and Christian values.  And, sadly, that is something the church must do in most of the world now.  I am glad to see the new Pope has demonstrated the moral compass and backbone to do that and with other branches of Christ’s Church.

As for him being a Jesuit, I’ve read (Forgive me. I’ve forgotten where.) that as a leader in that order, he expected Jesuits under him to be parish pastors instead of running around engaging in community organizing, if you will.

So, as I said, I feel better about the new Pope now.

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