100 days for Pope Francis?

He probably needs more.

Questions:

1. Can we say that Pope also need something like 100 days, as governments usually get, to spread his influence, to settle  down and how (un)helpful is it for Pope Francis that he was elected just before the Easter or it is additional burden?

2. Before the conclave there were lot of discussion on that the Catholic Church this time perhaps needs a new, younger Pope. Pope Francis in 76. Is it a handicap or not, and why?

Answers:

Mathew SchmalzAssociate Professor of Religious Studies, Director, College Honors Program, The College of the Holy Cross

1. I think the process of setting in will take more than 100 days and during Holy Week, Pope Francis will be quite occupied. However, this will give him a public stage early on in his pontificate to set a new tone for the papacy–one of humility and simplicity.

2. This election does come as a surprise since everyone thought that Bergoglio was too old. He may have been a contender last conclave, but he was mentioned by no one as a serious candidate this time. I think the cardinals decided that the new Pope needed to embody personal holiness: Bergoglio does embody that quality in his humility and simplicity. I also think after the long pontificate of JPII, many cardinals feel wary of having another long pontificate. So, the hope is that Pope Francis will lead by a personal example of service and Christian love.

James Brian BenestadProfessor, Theology/Religious Studies, University of Scranton

1. I think that the 100 hunded days is irrelevant for the pope. Easter does give Pope Francis an opportunity to talk about the central mystery of the Christian faith. People will get to know his thought more quickly.

2. His age is a slight handicap.  Being pope is a very demanding job.  He seems to be a wonderful person who is smart and educated. The cardinals probably judged that is much superior to the younger candidates.

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