Pope Francis, an Argentinean, has been elected to serve the Catholics of the world. He is the first Pope from outside Europe in over 1000 years. That alone is a huge shift. South America is the home of liberation theology - the view that
Jesus was on the side of the poor. Many Catholic priests were actively engaged in politics in South American countries, helping the poor and oppressed, often campaigning against brutal regimes. One of the most famous quotes from this time is from Dom Helder Camara, Archbishop of Recife, Brazil:
When I feed the poor, they call me a saint.
When I ask why the poor have no
food, they call me a communist.
I doubt that there will be any great shifts on issues such as gay marriage or women priests. What we might start to hear more about, is the heart of the Christian message:
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was ill and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
(Matthew 25: 35-36)
the good that the followers of Christ do each day to bring heaven closer to earth.