Metropolitan Siluan (Muci) of Buenos Aires, an Orthodox Christian hierarch, was the representative of the Patriarchate of Antioch at the inaugural mass for Pope Francis this week. Notes on Arab Orthodoxy has a personal reflection on the new pope from Met. Siluan (and links to the Spanish-language originals). The Orthodox bishop offers insights about the qualities of this “very easygoing” new pope from informal meetings and dinners he took part in. Met. Siluan:
At the table where the cardinals from Cuba, Ecuador, Santo Domingo, etc. were gathered, I wanted to know the opinions that they had of the pope. So each one of them agreed to answer the question: What are the qualities of Pope Francis?
I will share below some of the answers that I received. Some of it I already shared with [Argentine news station] C5N, who asked me to share some of what I experienced here.
One emphasized the fact that the pope is an organizer, who knows where and how to get something done, a man of great simplicity and mercy.
Another emphasized that the pope is a man who understands his surroundings well, who is generous, a man of words who knows how to speak without offending.
A third said that he is a humble man, who is transparent, honest, who knows things in Latin America who will know how to tell those who correspond from each of those countries what he will have to do.
A fourth spoke of the sacramental aspect, of the Eucharistic celebration, of his knowledge of the fact that he is very hard-working.
As for me, something I did not share at the table, I believe that he is a person who deeply loves Jesus Christ, respects every person without discrimination, and who is a person who does not worry about things, whether or not they go well, but rather keeps to prayer and from there waits for strength and the response. He really has faith and knows how to live faith and who also, by his sincerity, inspires others to think that faith is something real, true, and authentic, leaving them the time and the freedom to live it.
Read more on “Pope Francis’ Private, Informal Audience with Metropolitan Siluan” on the Notes on Arab Orthodoxy site.