Rev. Dr. Susan Thistlethwaite and Retired Bishop John Shelby Spong join Current TV’s John Fugelsang to react to news that Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina has been elected to the papacy. Bergoglio has accepted the role as leader of the Catholic Church, taking on the name Pope Francis.
“The good thing is that he was a surprise,” Spong says. “All of the people that you thought were obvious candidates would — you knew would carry on the same sort of traditions — and just to have a surprise is a statement that’s forward.”
Thistlethwaite reflects on why American progressives should care about the selection of a new pope. “It will be a major, major disappointment if Pope Francis does not immediately move to address reining in, and better and healthier, sexuality among the Catholic priesthoods,” Thistlethwaite says. “That’s a tall order, but I think both legally, and in terms of promoting a healthier sexuality, that’s non-negotiable.”