By Samuel Burke, CNN
Many Jesuits are stunned that a Jesuit is now Pope.
"Saint Ignatius never intended for Jesuits to have positions of power, authority or influence in the Church,” Father Joseph McShane told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. “So we were always told from the day we entered there would never be a Jesuit Pope and now we have one. We are all stunned."
McShane is President of Fordham University in New York and even though he didn’t expect the selection of then-Cardinal Bergoglio, he believes Pope Francis has the background to reform.
The new pope must confront a crises and crimes that have rocked the Church over the last decade.
To tackle the sex abuse catastrophe McShane said the new Pope would be “wise to listen to the American bishops” who are advocating for a policy of zero tolerance throughout the Church.
“More importantly, he has to say that whenever such an act, such a sin, such a crime is reported, the first concern is for the victim and the victim's family,” McShane said.
But is Pope Francis powerful enough to make sure the curia and the Catholic hierarchy abide by that?
“I don't know if it's a question of ‘is he powerful enough?’ I think it's a question of ‘is he brave enough to call it out,’” McShane said.
He believes Pope Francis is.
“If you look at what he has done in Buenos Aires with his own priests, it is clear,” McShane told Amanpour. “I'm sure you've read the stories about him excoriating priests who refused to baptize children who were born out of wedlock – calling them the new Pharisees, a new class of hypocrites, who forgot that the Lord ate with prostitutes and sought out sinners. So I think he's brave enough and direct enough to do this.”