First off, congratulations! No small wonder you just accomplished, being the first non-European pontiff, bishop of Rome, a successor of Saint Peter, the leader of the worldwide Church. And you're a Jesuit, so you get extra points from me - you are one of God's Marines, as they say, and promote social justice, world peace, and work on behalf of the poor. I like your humility - a lot - it's very impressive that you gave up additional earthly pleasures, such as chauffeurs and chefs, and seem to be a man of the people. I'm hopeful!
My favorite part of today's news (followed by my second favorite moment, when everyone standing on St. Peter's Square was chanting, "Habemus Papam!") was what you said before you gave your first papal blessing. The English translation is something like this: "Before I pray for you, I want you to pray for me. I want you to bless me." And then you grew quiet. And then you prayed to Mary. THAT was moving!
I'm not sure what your election means for the Church, for us, but I have my hopes and expectations. World peace and working on behalf of the poor, I'm all for that. Yes, of course! But also, Holy Father, can you remember the women and children? We have been neglected. I try not to think about the widespread sex abuse scandals (and cover-ups). It brings me down; it's so sad, so shameful, so embarrassing.
But let's consider women, soon, please? The all-male priesthood, well, it's a bit offensive. I know, long standing 2,000 year old traditions, Christ was male, etc, but really? I know it's a huge doctrinal change, and you are called to protect it, but please consider it. If not women ordination, consider that we can't even become anointed as much-needed deacons, the priest-assistants! There are lots of ways women can bring value, I understand, but what about the women who really want to lead? We've fought for equality, we are able, we are ready, we want to serve, too! It was challenging to watch those 115 holy Cardinals march into the Sistine Chapel the last couple of days. Men deciding the fate of our next Pope, men deciding the direction of our Church. If women were represented and involved administratively and pastorally, I honestly believe, we would not be dealing with these crimes, these cover-ups, the bankruptcies. But right now, we are not welcome in leadership roles. There's a ceiling. Bless me father, but I gotta say, sex discrimination is no longer allowed in my workplace - why, oh why, must it be tolerated, er, supported, in my refuge, my Church?
Hugs from here, from a woman with a mind, a heart, a voice. Best of luck. I'm saying prayers.
God Bless You!