Pope Francis ventured outside the Vatican’s walls to pray at a Roman basilica and pay his hotel bill the day after becoming the first Roman Catholic leader to hail from outside Europe in more than 1,200 years.
As Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, now known as Francis I, assumes leadership for the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, we won’t presume to tell him how to think on matters religious. But for the sake of world markets, we hope the new pope will act in the best tradition of Catholic economic thought.
The 115 voting cardinals of the Catholic church began today their secret conclave to choose the successor to Pope Benedict XVI. There is a saying in Rome that “he who enters the conclave a pope exits as a cardinal” and it is notoriously tricky to try to handicap the papal vote.