Wednesday, 13 March 2013
The latest Francis
We have a new pope, I said – and he’s the first ever from the Americas.
“YAY! Go America!” The Girl said, raising a fist like her football team won. When we visited my native USA last year, she regarded that land of giant stores and vast roads with a sense of awe, like Alice visiting Wonderland.
Not the USA itself, I said, but South America. He had a name as an ordinary man, but as pope he has taken the name Francis I.
“He can’t be, Daddy – he has to be Francis III,” she said. Why the third? “Because before him there was Francis Assisi and Francis A-Bacon,” she said.
Francis Assisi was a great man – he spent his life helping the poor – but he was a monk, not a pope. And Francis Bacon was a knight, and one of the first scientists.
“And what will the pope be?” she asked.
I'd like him to be all those things, I said, privately not raising my hopes too high. We need more people like that in the world.
Photo: The Girl, some time ago, at the Rock of Cashel, in a church built in the 1100s.