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Jesuit leader welcomes papal appointment

South Asian provincial hails 'non-Eurocentric' choice

Jesuit leader welcomes papal appointment
Father Edward Mudavassery says he hopes for more regional dialogue
Ritu Sharma, New Delhi

March 20, 2013

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As Pope Francis opened his pontificate with a Mass on Tuesday, Jesuits in South Asia expressed hope he will address injustice in the world and find ways to tackle sex abuse and a dysfunctional Roman Curia.

“The new pope is not Euro-centric and is concerned about the present world conditions, the poor and issues of peace and justice,” Jesuit Provincial of South Asia Father Edward Mudavassery told

Pope Francis’ election will not bring any radical changes, but it will certainly give a new direction to many things, including the administrative crisis in the Vatican and its relations with other churches and governments, Father Mudavassery said.

Suggesting the Church has lost moral standing amid cases of clerical sex abuse, the priest said Pope Francis will "have to work toward recovering the spiritual and moral space the Church has lost.”

“I hope that there would be more open dialogue with other regional churches,” the priest added.

The pontificate will also witness changes in administration, becoming simpler and more accessible rather than bureaucratic, the priest said, adding that clergy inside the Vatican and around the world will become more normalized rather than medieval. 

The priest said the selection of the name Francis shows the pope has “special spirituality and vision.”

Pope Francis started his office by urging all to "open arms to protect all of God’s people and embrace with tender affection the whole of humanity, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important."

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