Prof. Candida Moss | Mar. 19, 2013 | Newsweek
Enter Pope Francis. The first Jesuit pope. The first from Latin America. It is, indeed, a historic moment for the papacy. Those who waited for a leader from the new Catholic world will no doubt be thrilled by the choice, but his new status as the leader of a global church requires a different persona and a new mode of action. The new pope speaks not only for Argentina, Latin America, and the Jesuits, but also for the entire Roman Catholic world.
Papal names chart a course for the future by summoning up the past. The new pope assumes either the mantle of religious heroes and leaders from days gone by or the virtues of the Innocents and the Piuses. The selection of the name both forges a new identity and signals how the pope wishes to be seen and remembered.