'Papal name Francis indicates intent to reform Church'
MANILA -- The decision of Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio to go by the name Pope Francis is a sign of his intention to reform the Roman Catholic Church, a Claretian missionary priest said Thursday.
"'Yung pangalan na Francis is very indicative of the intention to reform the Church," Fr. Ellie Ayuban, a Filipino missionary priest based in Vatican, said.
Bergoglio, 76, is the first pope to take the name Francis.
The moniker draws on the legacy of St. Francis of Assisi, the 13th-century founder of the Franciscan Order and a symbol of asceticism. It also evokes a life of simplicity and humility far removed from the splendour of the Vatican.
Bergoglio is the 266th pontiff to lead the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics at a time of great crisis and difficulty wherein the Church is hit by sex abuse scandals, internal bickering and growing secularism in Europe.
Bergoglio, who is the first Latin American and Jesuit pope, was not in the list of frontrunners to replace Benedict XVI.
But Ayuban said Bergoglio is also well-known to the Vatican. Bergoglio was believed to have been the runner-up in the 2005 election of Benedict.
"Tingin ko 'yung mga supporters niya noon ay patuloy na sumusuporta sa kanya," Ayuban said.
Ayuban also noted the new pope is known for his simplicity and connection with the poor.
"Alam natin meron siyang puso para sa mga mahihirap," he said. -- From a report by Korina Sanchez, ABS-CBN News, With Agence France-Presse