Vaticanists have been waiting with baited breath to see who will be Pope Francis’ personal secretary and who is named Secretary of State. The first appointment he made as pope, however, was the new Archbishop of Buenos Aires.
The move shows two things: first, that the Holy Father still has his head and his heart in Buenos Aires. The several phone calls he has made, one to the man who delivered his newspapers, two to friends celebrating birthdays, and one to cancel a dentist’s appointment, suggest the same.
The quick move to appoint his successor also shows that he had a successor in mind already and perhaps that he goes with his gut to take quick, decisive action.
Then, Cardinal Bergoglio turned 75 in December 2011 and promptly submitted his resignation to Pope Benedict XVI. The pope decided not to accept the resignation, but clearly Cardinal Bergoglio had given some thought as to who should succeed him.
On March 28, Pope Francis announced that Bishop Mario Poli of Santa Rosa, La Pampa would become Archbishop of Buenos Aires.
Archbishop Poli was born, raised and formed in Buenos Aires. He entered the Metropolitan Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in 1969 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1978.
Pope John Paul II appointed Poli auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires in 2002. He served in that position until 2008 when Pope Benedict XVI named him Bishop of Santa Rosa.
His installation as Archbishop of Argentina’s primatial see will take place April 20th at the Cathedral of Buenos Aires.