An analysis of the 36 year old Bergoglio:
There was a split within his ranks over a South American movement called liberation theology, which called for battling poverty on two fronts: direct assistance to the poor, along with confronting systems of oppression, including unjust governments. A military coup was brewing in Argentina, which would be followed by the agonies of the country’s Dirty War.
And Bergoglio was finding his style of leadership rankled some of his fellow priests. Or as a senior church official, who didn’t want to be named for obvious reasons, told WNYC: “Bergoglio was kind of a jerk.”
Except the official used a stronger word than “jerk.” He then hastened to add some context. He explained that it takes more than 10 years to become a Jesuit priest and that, in 1973, Bergoglio had been a full-fledged Jesuit for a mere two years. It was then, at the relatively young age of 36, that he was thrust in charge of Argentina’s thousands of Jesuits.
It was Bergoglio’s first big leadership position and it didn’t always go smoothly.
By some accounts, he sometimes indulged in yelling at his subordinates. And Bergoglio alienated a faction within the Jesuits by criticizing liberation theology. He also drew criticism himself by choosing not to publicly condemn human rights violations in Argentina during the Dirty War, instead working behind the scenes to help free and save the lives of an unknown number of political detainees.
Go here to read the rest. There is a fascinating continuity to the Pope’s life. He has always been an authoritarian who deals with opposition or questioning poorly. Where he has changed is in regard to politics and orthodoxy. In order to explain his earliest failure in a Church leadership role to himself, he seems to have determined that it was the orthodoxy and the conservative politics he embraced, and not his abrasive personality. Like most of us, the Pope is insufficiently self critical and like most converts he has a zeal for his newfound positions.