Here’s Stanley Hauerwas commenting on the election of Pope Francis. He finds it remarkable that a  Jesuit was made Pope—even more remarkable than that someone from Latin America was elected. He takes heart that the new Pope has taken the name of “Francis,” and comments, “The Roman Catholic Church is not just a church that serves the poor; the Roman Catholic Church is a church of the poor.”

It’s remarkable how much attention the secular world and media still pay to the Catholic Church and its signal passages and ceremonies. I’m old enough to remember when American political campaigns included explicit concern for the poor. Now the most that happens is repeated concern (understandably, given the ailing economy) for the crumbling middle class. The poor are generally ignored at best and excoriated at worst. So it’s been refreshing to hear such straightforward and positive talk of the poor and empathy with the poor around this new Pope. Let’s hope Pope Francis makes it an ongoing hallmark of his papacy to remind us of solidarity with the “least of these.”