Abbott urged to follow Pope against gay marriage, abortion

CATHOLIC politicians including Tony Abbott and Bob Katter have been urged to join the new Pope in making a stand against abortion and gay marriage.

 Bernard Gaynor, who resigned from Bob Katter's party because it failed to oppose abortion, said Pope Francis was a powerful example to all Catholic politicians.

"Pope Francis has shown great courage to lead political opposition in Argentina against gay marriage and abortion," Mr Gaynor said in a statement today.

"Pope Francis has also warned Catholic legislators that they cannot support abortion or gay marriage and continue to receive Holy Communion."

Mr Gaynor said that he hoped this example and warning would spur prominent Catholic politicians like Tony Abbott and Bob Katter to stand strong in the current debates about gay marriage and Medicare funding of gender-based abortions.

"Unfortunately, both Bob Katter and Tony Abbott have recently said that they support legalised abortion or that they are not interested in dealing with this issue."

"Bob Katter also tried to stop me from speaking about abortion and attacked me for writing to Australia's Catholic bishops over the matter."

"As Catholics, they cannot straddle the fence on abortion."

Mr Gaynor also said that Pope Francis' example was a repudiation of former New South Wales Premier, Kristina Kenneally, who claimed to be a practising Catholic while supporting gay adoption rights.

"The truth is that Kristina Kenneally's actions were completely at odds with the Catholic Church. She set herself up as her own pope."

"While Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis said gay adoption was discrimination of children. He is right." Mr Gaynor said.

Mr Gaynor's comments are expected to further spur debate over the new Pope on social media forums.

>> Already, some have claimed this could be the last Pope - and there are even claims he is the Antichrist.

>> Lighter side: Forget white smoke, the Pope's appointments needs some X Factor, The Voice or Pope Idol

Gay lobby group attacks appointment of new Pope

THE gay lobby isn't giving its blessing to the new appointment, saying the Catholic church has renewed its commitment to opposing equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people.

All Out spokesperson Andre Banks said Pope Francis had a long history of opposing equality for gays and lesbians in Argentina."

Then Jorge Bergoglio called marriage for gays and lesbians, "a lie aimed at confusing and fooling the children of God."

He also referred to marriage for gays and lesbians as, "a destructive pretension against the plan of God."

He also reportedly argued that adoption by gay parents discriminated against children.

"I along with fellow Catholics around the world hoped the Church was ready to send a signal that they were ready to stop attacking our families," Joe Mirabella, Director of Campaigns for All Out said.

"Sadly, with the election of Jorge Begoglio the Church has demonstrated they remain out of touch with the flock. LGBT people and our allies are not likely to find a friend in Pope Francis I."

"The Catholic flock around the world have been pushing their leaders to reform and modernise the Church," Andre Banks said.

"They are going to have to push even harder now that their leaders have shown they are not listening to their call to include LGBT people as full and open members of the church." 

The new Pope is Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires. The first ever Jesuit Pope, he will take the name Pope Francis.
The new Pope is Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires. The first ever Jesuit Pope, he will take the name Pope Francis. Getty Images

Julie Gillard welcomes appointment of Pope as 'historic moment'

PRIME Minister Julia Gillard has described the election of  Pope Francis, the first non-European pontiff in more than 1000 years, as a "genuinely historic" moment.

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio's election after five votes by the papal conclave was monumental for myriad reasons.

The 76-year-old Argentinean becomes the first person from Latin America to ascend to the role, and the first Jesuit.

"The election of a Pope from the 'new world' is an occasion of genuinely historic proportions," Ms Gillard said in a statement.

"Today is an exciting day for Australian Catholics and perhaps especially for Australians of Argentinean descent.  My thoughts are with them all."

First ever Jesuit Pope catches bus, cooks own meals

IN a shock decision from the Vatican, the new Pope is Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires.

The first ever Jesuit Pope, he will take the name Pope Francis.

He is known as a humble man who takes the bus to work and cooks his own meals. From an evangelical background, with a traditional theology, he is likely to be strong on reform.

In a speech from the balcony of St Peter's, Pope Francis called on the world to "take the path of love and fraternity".

Francis asked for prayers for himself, and for retired Pope Benedict XVI, whose surprising resignation paved the way for the conclave that brought the first Jesuit to the papacy.

"Brothers and sisters, good evening," Francis said to wild cheers in his first public remarks as pontiff.

"You know that the work of the conclave is to give a bishop to Rome. It seems as if my brother cardinals went to find him from the end of the earth.

"Thank you for the welcome."

The identity of the new Pontiff, who takes the position after the former Pope resigned, was announced by Cardinal Protodeacon Jean-Louis Pierre Tauran.

Bells were ringing out and thousands were cheering "Viva il Papa!" and waving flags in St Peter's Square in Rome after the smoke rose after the second vote on the second day of the Conclave, the gathering of the cardinals.

And among the faithful Twitter followers around the world, it was noted that the account @Pontifex re-appeared.

The Catholic Church has been run by a college of cardinals, headed by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, while the election of its new leader was taking place.

The group, all of whom must be younger than 80, convene in secret and are locked inside the Vatican until they elect a new Pontiff. Any candidate needs a two-thirds majority to be elected and the college members are sworn to secrecy.

Pope Benedict XVI's resignation threw the church into turmoil and exposed deep divisions among cardinals tasked with finding a manager to clean up a Vatican bureaucracy embroiled in recent scandals.

The new Pope, the 266th, will be tasked with reviving Catholicism in a time of growing secularism and providing spiritual leadership to the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.

The current Conclave has been one of the fastest in years, with the successful candidate elected on the fifth ballot. Each day, two ballots are taken in a bid to reach a decision on the new Pope's identity. They are burned immediately afterwards.

The quick election was a surprise given there was no clear front-runner going into the vote and that the church had been in turmoil following the upheaval unleashed by Pope Benedict XVI's surprise resignation.

A winner must receive 77 votes, or two-thirds of the 115, to be named pope.

What does it mean to be a Jesuit?

The Society of Jesus (Latin: Societas Iesu, S.J., SJ or SI) is a Christian male religious order of the Roman Catholic Church.

The members are called Jesuits and are also known colloquially as "God's Marines", these being references to founder Ignatius of Loyola's military background and members' willingness to accept orders anywhere in the world and live in extreme conditions.

The society is engaged in evangelization and apostolic ministry in 112 nations on six continents.

Jesuits are known for their work in education (founding schools, colleges, universities and seminaries), intellectual research, and cultural pursuits, and for their missionary efforts.

Jesuits also give retreats, minister in hospitals and parishes and promote social justice and ecumenical dialogue.

Francis I, the current pope, hails from the Jesuit order. Elected on 13 March 2013, he is the first Jesuit to have been elected pope.

Source: Wikipedia

Some of the reaction on Twitter to the election of the new Pope

@Queen_UK: Black smoke from the Sistine Chapel indicates that the cardinals have not agreed upon a new Pope and have instead gone for a cigar.

@TomChivers: A pip, pop, a pippy, a pippy, a pip-pip-pope they've just picked a pope

@stuheritage: New Pope now busy pouring his curves into his new robe for the cameras

@sera_mcdaid: For so many who claim to have no interest in religion you lot are mighty interested in some fella in a funny hat over in Rome.

@davidschneider: White smoke! We have a pope! We have a pope! No, hold on, he's just resigned...

@guyadams: I predict an Italian pope. The Vatican's an Italian mess and it needs an insider to clean it up

@helenlewis: Wow, they've really hot-boxed that basilica.

Meanwhile, the hashtag "#ReplaceMovieTitlesWithPope" has been trending since earlier today...

@ComedyCentral: Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Pope

@mikewilmot1: Popey Popey Bang Bang. Chitty Chitty Pope Pope. Chitty Popey Bang Pope. Popey Chitty Pope Bang. I'm spent.

@WyckedAwesome: Pope White and the Seven Altar Boys.

@MiaFarrow: A Pope Called Wanda.

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