Friday will mark two years since Pope Francis' election

(AGI) Vatican City, March 12 - The election on March 13, 2013,of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a cardinal known for his frugalityand closeness to the poor, was a strong signal that theCatholic Church, "managing once again to surprise as it hasoften done in its 2000 year history, would be able to escapethe black hole into which it had collapsed." These were thewords written by the former director of L'Osservatore Romano,Gianfranco Svidercoschi, from his book "Un Papa solo alcomando", published by Tau. Alongside the decision to namehimself Francis, a name which none of

(AGI) Vatican City, March 12 - The election on March 13, 2013,of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a cardinal known for his frugalityand closeness to the poor, was a strong signal that theCatholic Church, "managing once again to surprise as it hasoften done in its 2000 year history, would be able to escapethe black hole into which it had collapsed." These were thewords written by the former director of L'Osservatore Romano,Gianfranco Svidercoschi, from his book "Un Papa solo alcomando", published by Tau. Alongside the decision to namehimself Francis, a name which none of his predecessors haddared to elect, what was most striking was the gesture thatimmediately followed the announcement in St. Peter's, where thenew Pope bowed his head and asked the masses to pray for him.It was an early and poignant sign of the different way Franciswould relate with the public throughout his Papacy. Gradually,his words, starting from the extraordinary novelty of holdingdaily homilies, and especially his actions have helped "frame"the extraordinary Pontificate we are living through. PopeFrancis fits the astonishing definition that Don Tonino Belloused for the martyr Oscar Romero, whose beatification on May 23was decided by Francis himself: "a bishop made by the people".Pastors, he said, "should walk in front of, alongside, andbehind the people" with great faith in God and in a way simpleChristians can understand. A faith that clearly inspires thecurrent Pope, as testified by his decision to ask followers fortheir opinion on the most difficult topics tackled by theSynod, such as allowing divorcees who remarry to receive theEucharist and welcoming homosexuals in ecclesial communities.In doing so, he has ushered in a profound revolution that hasnewly included all of the Church's innumerable and oftensuffering followers, to whom he wished to give back a role andsense of dignity that they had perhaps been denied over theyears. Pope Francis told prelates close to the FocolareMovement on March 4 that a bishop united with his people"becomes living Gospel, he becomes Broken Bread for the livesof many with his preaching and his witness". "Those who receivenourishment from faith in the living bread of Christ are urgedby his love to give their life for their brothers, to go outand help those who are outcast and despised," he stated. It wason the morning of March 16 two years ago, however, when theworld and the press met His Holiness in the Paul VI AudienceHall, that Pope Francis truly won the the global community'ssupport. He explained the choice behind the name and his desireof a "Church that is poor and for the poor". His words on theresignation of Benedict XVI untied the knot of disappointmentand suffering that followed the Vatileaks scandal and that haddug into many hearts. (AGI).