‘New pope veers for social justice, is pro-poor’ – Bp. Cabantan

Bukidnon News.Net official Logo for site2MALAYBALAY CITY (Bukidnon News/14 March) – Newly-elected Pope Francis, who entered the conclave as Jorge Mario Bergoglio, of Buenos Aires, will be a pontiff who veers for social justice and is close to the poor, Malaybalay Bishop Jose A. Cabantan told church-run DXDB the morning after the election.

Cabantan said he is happy in the election of the new Pope and “happy that he comes from Latin America.”

“It shows the catholicity (universality) of the Church. In our modern lingo – it is a “global church,” he added in a text message to BukidnonNews.

18 March WIB Pope FrancisThe pope’s name was taken from St. Francis of Assisi, he added. Bergoglio, Cabantan said is the first Jesuit to be elevated as pontiff.

“He is known for his obedience to the teachings of the Church,” he added.

He said the new Pope’s veering for social justice is rooted in the fact that “Church of the Poor” manifested in the Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC) known locally as GKKs or Ginagmayng Kristohanong Katilingban originated in Latin America.

Cabantan cited that Pope Francis, when he was still a cardinal, was one of those who opposed same sex marriage in Argentina and reprimanded priests who refused to give baptism sacraments to children born to unwed mothers.

But Cabantan admitted that the new Pope will have to face a lot of challenges in his papacy, citing the first task might be working on the renewal of the priests.

Among the major issues confronting the Catholic Church before Pope Benedict XVI stepped down is the sex abuses committed by the clergy.(Walter I. Balane/BukidnonNews.net)