Archbishop Gregory Venables has this to say of Papa Francis:
"Many are asking me what Jorge Bergoglio is really like. He is much more of a Christian, Christ centered and Spirit filled, than a mere churchman. He believes the Bible as it is written. I have been with him on many occasions and he always makes me sit next to him and invariably makes me take part and often do what he as Cardinal should have done. He is consistently humble and wise, outstandingly gifted yet a common man. He is no fool and speaks out very quietly yet clearly when necessary. He called me to have breakfast with him one morning and told me very clearly that the Ordinariate was quite unnecessary and that the church needs us as Anglicans. I consider this to be an inspired appointment not because he is a close and personal friend but because of who he is In Christ. Pray for him."
Interesting about the Ordinariate!
I like the sound of this bloke. Great choice of name. But he has one heck of a job before him if we concur with Damian Thompson who is thoroughly cheesed off with the Curia.
Postscript: let's be frank about Frank. At 76 he represents a Roman hierarchy in deep doo dah. The single most important job of leadership in the church, after proclaiming the gospel, is to train up the next generation of leaders. The current set up is not doing that for Rome. Papa Francis may, like his elderly predecessor John XXIII, unleash a new wave of change. If he does and his successor is aged around 60 then well and good. But if at 76 he has limited energies, like Benedict XVI, then Rome is doomed to further years of a divided Curia, unfortunate responses to scandals, and failure to get on top of its shortage of priests.
I may like the sound of this bloke, even as I recognise the larger story into which he fits is something of a tragedy for global Christianity, a tragedy because the vision of Vatican 2 for ongoing reform is being undone. For someone who does not like the sound of this bloke, who already thinks he is a disaster within a tragic story of modern Catholicism going wrong at each step, with Vatican 2 being the worst step of all, read here.
Also interesting is Tim Stanley, alert to various nuances in the situation.