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‘Call Me Jorge’

Marian T. Horvat, Ph.D.
Among many egalitarian innovations of the new Pope, one that is particularly shocking is his constant disregard for the papal titles. Since the title represents the office, one can only suspect that he holds the traditional idea of the Pope as Supreme Pontiff as superfluous, remnants of a still lingering medieval monarchical mentality that he is trying to eradicate.

Call me jorge

A Pope who wants to be one of the people

One does not win points with Jorge Bergoglio by calling him Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church (Summus Pontifex Ecclesiae Universalis) or just the Sovereign Pontiff (in Latin, Summus Pontifex). He refers to himself as the Bishop of Rome, just the first among equals of the Cardinals.

As for addressing him with the traditional title “Your Holiness,” which seems the bare minimum of respect to show for the Head of the Catholic Church, even that is no longer necessary.

When he is asked what he should be called, he responds quickly, “Just call me Jorge.”

‘Just call me Jorge’

José María del Corral, director of the ‘School of Neighbors’ educational program in Buenos Aires was one of the Pope’s special guests at his Inaugural Mass.

de corral pope Francis

Corral telling his story in St. Petr's Square

In passing, let me stress that this school, an initiative supported by Card. Bergoglio, is not to catechize the youth in the Catholic Faith. Rather, it brings together young people of different religions to teach them tolerance and “respect” for their differences. In effect, it promotes religious indifference.

When Corral “bumped into” the Pope in the elevator, he asked Francis, “How should I refer to you now?”

The Pope answered, “Call me Jorge, what else?”

This egalitarian gesture brought tears of joy to Corral’s eyes. I think it should bring tears of sorrow to the eyes Catholics who love and reverence the See of Peter and all that it represents.

Put aside the official titles

Then there is the report about how he was calling the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires to check in before celebrating Mass in St. Peter´s Square. This Jesuit, who should love the papacy above all things, instead loves to show the Pope is just one of the people. This is why he makes his own phone calls.

When a nun answered the phone, she asked “Who is calling?” and he said “Father Jorge.” The nun said “Your Holiness?” He responded, “Oh no, it's Father Jorge,” as if to say that this was not a time for official titles.

Cardinal Jorge speaking’

There is also the story circulating about how the Pope called the street newsstand in Buenos Aires where he purchased his daily paper for the last years. He wanted to cancel the subscription. Daniel del Regno answered the phone and heard a familiar voice, “Hello Daniel, Cardinal Jorge speaking.”

The man thought it was one of his friends playing a joke on him, but the Pope insisted, “I’m serious. I’m Jorge Bergoglio. I am calling you from Rome.”

luis de regno father of daniel

Luis de Regno, father of Daniel and owner of the small newstand

And Daniel, realizing it was the Supreme Pontiff speaking, also broke down into tears. Again for the wrong reason...

If he actually has lots of free time, we can see that he is using all of it to destroy the dignity of the Papacy. In the less than two weeks since he became Pope, he had already destroyed as many symbols of the Papacy as the other five conciliar Popes before him…

By the way, if the Pope has so much free time, as Francis I says, why did Benedict XVI renounce the office, alleging he could not handle the overwhelming weight of governing the entire Catholic Church? One of the two Popes seems to be not telling us the truth…

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Posted October 8, 2013

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