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April 2, 2013

I was alerted to a direct and sustained attack on my Canadian-ness by our new director of development, Christopher Check (better known as Herr Direktor) in his otherwise fine and insightful blog post of March 14. The issue at hand was the proper pronunciation of Bergoglio, the family surname of Pope Francis.

Before I take a mukluk-clad step further, I must admit that my rhetorical well has been poisoned. Signor (Italian spelling) Check asserted that I acquire a bad mood when...

March 21, 2013

I recently came across an interesting YouTube video of the final minutes of a presentation given by the widely recognized Argentinian Evangelical Salvador Dellutri. (The video is in Spanish. See my translated transcript below.) He is addressing a group of fellow Evangelicals on the "power of influence" and concludes by sharing a story about his memorable meeting with then Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio.

The first four and a...

March 14, 2013

If you're like me, one of the first things you did after hearing the news of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio being elected pope was start scouring the internet for any of his writings in English.

Below is his Lentern letter for this year: 

And rend your hearts, and not your garments, and turn to the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, patient and rich in mercy, and ready to repent of the evil. (Joel 2:13)

Little by little we become accustomed to...

March 14, 2013

In 2005, I was in a colleague's office when another colleague came running down the hall, breathlessly announcing, "There's white smoke!" I ran for a radio in my office, but an announcement came over the intercom. "We're gathering in the conference room!" Table and chairs were shoved aside, people stood or sat on the floor, all eyes were glued to a tiny TV set that had very poor reception. 

When "Josephum" was announced as the new pope's first name, I sucked in my breath. At the word...

March 14, 2013

Like most of you, I knew nothing of Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio until yesterday. Yet shortly after learning the name of the man we now call Pope Francis, I found myself in an arm wrestle with Patrick Coffin over whether his last name was pronounced “Bear-GO-lee-yo” (as the Italians would say) or (Bear-GO-glee-oh), as Patrick insisted South Americans would say.

Now, just what a Canadian like Patrick knows about the Latin American pronunciation of a first-generation Italian surname is...