OTD in History… January 4, 1896, Utah is admitted as the 45th State of the Union

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OTD in History… January 4, 1896, Utah is admitted as the 45th State of the Union

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

(Originally published on the History News Network on Tuesday, January 1, 2008)

On this day in history January 4, 1893, US President Benjamin Harrison grants amnesty to those who committed Mormon polygamy, and on January 4, 1896, Utah was admitted as the 45th state.

First & Second Attempt

Utah’s long quest for statehood was finally officially granted in 1896. It was a long struggle for Utah’s Mormons to convince the U.S. federal government that their territory should be admitted to statehood. From the first attempt at statehood in 1849–50, the major point of contention was the Mormons’ and the Church of Latter-Day Saints embrace of polygamy. The Mormons’ second attempt at statehood was simultaneous with the Republican Party’s first presidential campaign in 1856. Republican opposition to polygamy was akin to its opposition to slavery; both were condemned in the party platform as the “twin relics of barbarism.” According to recent historical scholarship the number one reason that it took Utah nearly fifty years to be admitted to the Union was because of the practice of polygamy. As historian Joan Smith Iversen writes, “Whereas Mormon historians once held that polygamy was only a diversionary issue raised by anti-Mormons who really opposed the power of the LDS church, recent interpretations by [Edward Leo] Lyman and historian Jan Shipps have found the polygamy issue to be critical to the anti-Mormon struggles.” (Iversen, 585)

In 1850, Congress refused the first request for statehood for a prosposed state named Deseret based on the lack of the requisite number of eligible voters and the huge size of the state. Instead, on September 9, 1850, President Millard Fillmore signed into law the bill creating the Utah Territory with a new border, an initial step on the path to statehood. Mormons admission after repeated denials that one of the church’s religious principles was patriarchal (plural) marriage damaged the prospects of statehood. Mormons disclosed that leading male members of the church were encouraged to marry more than one wife. The announcement elicited a negative response from the general American public, and political opposition from the federal government to all Mormon requests for Utah statehood. The government made it known to the Mormons that as long polygamy was condoned and practiced in Utah; they would not grant them statehood.

Third & Forth Attempt

The Federal government also took steps to force the Mormons to abandon polygamy. In 1862, during the third failed attempt for statehood, Congress considered legislation to prohibit plural marriage. The Morrill Anti-bigamy Act banned polygamy and dissolved the Mormon Church. It was never effectively enforced, but Congress refused to grant an 1867 request to repeal it. In 1872, there was a fourth attempt at statehood that included a ratified constitution presented to Congress. The Mormon majority was still insisting on calling the new state Deseret, even after the area was named the Utah territory. Congress again said no.

The anti-polygamy crusade heated up. In 1874, Congress passed the Poland Act, which established district courts in Utah, making it easier to prosecute polygamists. In 1879, the Supreme Court case Reynolds v. United States, Chief Justice Waite ruled that Mormon polygamy was “disruptive of peace and good order, threatening the foundations of the country,” therefore upholding the Morrill Act. (Iversen, 588) However, the crusade did not stop there. The Anti-Polygamy Society of Salt Lake City was established a year later in April 1880, when the women members of the group sent a petition to first lady Lucy Hayes requesting help to save the wives of polygamist husbands. The group, which changed its name in August 1880 to the Woman’s National Anti-Polygamy Society, pressed Congress to unseat polygamist George Q. Cannon, Utah’s territorial representative to Congress.

Fifth Attempt

In 1882, a mixed Mormon and non-Mormon constitutional convention requested for the fifth time that Utah be admitted as a state. This time the proposed constitution established Utah as “a republican form of government” and adopted the use of the name “Utah.” Congress again refused. As Larson writes, “Utah would not be admitted without complete divorcement of church and state and abolition of plural marriage.” (Poll, 258) In 1882, Congress passed a law criminalizing polygamy.

Sixth Attempt

When the Democrat Grover Cleveland was elected president, the Mormons hoped that statehood could finally be pushed through, since the Democrats had always been supportive, while the Republicans pushed for anti-polygamy legislation. Two years later the U.S. Senate passed the Edmunds-Tucker bill, which would force the LDS Church to forfeit property in excess of $50,000, and would abolish woman’s suffrage in the territory if polygamy continued. In February 1887, the bill passed both houses and Cleveland allowed it to take effect without his signature. Still, Cleveland tried to ease tensions in the manner in which he filled Utah territorial positions. Church emissaries developed an understanding with the President and some of his closest advisors, including Solicitor General George A. Jenks.

In their sixth attempt at statehood in 1887, the Utahans included a constitutional clause prohibiting polygamy (Jenks wrote it). Mormon Church leaders thought it was better to control the polygamy situation themselves, and believed the constitutional wording was enough of a goodwill gesture. Still, the Church hierarchy would not give up polygamy as a tenet and practice. Congress doubted that the Utah constitutional amendment against polygamy would be enforced, and denied statehood.

The Woodruff Manifesto

The denial showed that the Church had to do something to something to show the Mormons would end polygamist marriages. The Church attempted several goodwill gestures in 1889, first withholding the authority to perform the polygamist marriages and then razing the Endowment House on Temple Square, where many polygamous unions had been performed. This was still not enough; the Church had to make a more formal declaration against the practice, especially after the introduction of the Cullom-Struble Bill, which would have denied the vote even to non-polygamous Mormons. Church representatives sought intervention from the Secretary of State James G. Blaine, who had Republican support from Utah. According to Larson and Poll, Blaine “promise[ed] to halt congressional action on Mormon disfranchisement if the church ‘got into line.’ ” (Poll, 388) He held off the passage of the bill as long as the Church would ban polygamy.

The backlash from Washington forced the President of the Mormon Church, Wilford Woodruff, finally to relent. The official proclamation, known as the Woodruff Manifesto (September 24, 1890), declared that Endowment House had been razed and denied that polygamous marriages had been performed in 1889. The manifesto concluded, “and now, I publicly declare that my advice to the Latter-day Saints is to refrain from conducting any marriage forbidden by the law of the land.” (Poll, 372)

The Secretary of the Interior, John W. Noble, did not accept the manifesto as authoritative “without its acceptance by the [church] conference.” On October 6, 1890, the Mormons gathered and unanimously approved the manifesto. The historian Howard R. Lamar has called the move “the policy of superior virtue and patriotic conformity.” (Poll, 387) Washington remained cautious about the manifesto, and President Benjamin Harrison still did not believe Utah should be admitted as a state. The church’s action finally persuaded the territorial governor, a zealous anti-polygamy crusader, that Utah deserved statehood.

The Home Stretch

There remained one issue that Washington wanted resolved before Utah’s petition could be accepted; the people had to establish branches of the two national political parties. Until that point the political parties were aligned with religious beliefs; the Peoples party was Mormon; the Liberal party was non-Mormon. The system blurred the division of state and church that characterized the American political system, and was the last barrier to statehood. As the historians Gustive O. Larson and Richard D. Poll write: “As long as the People’s Party functioned as the political arm of the Mormon Church, the church-state struggle was certain to continue, with the Liberal Party blocking every approach to membership in the Union. With the ‘twin relic’ out of the way, it became increasingly clear to moderates in both parties that the road out of territorial subordination must be by way of national political affiliations.” (Poll, 387)

In response Utah’s population, which was still 90 percent Mormon, decided to adopt the national political parties. Although traditionally the Utah territory was more inclined to side with the Democratic Party, while Cleveland had been in power the party had not reached out enough to the Mormons. It seemed more beneficial to side with the Republicans, especially since they were in power. Still, many of the Mormon members supported the Democrats. Apostle Abraham H. Cannon wrote in his journal on June 9, 1891 that he feared the support for Democrats was a hindrance to statehood: “The danger of our people all becoming Democrats . . . is feared, and the results of such a course would doubtless prove disastrous to us.” He continued, “It is felt that efforts should be made to instruct our people in Republicanism and thus win them to that party.” (Poll, 389)

To secure statehood the Church dissolved the People’s Party on June 10, 1891 and established a two party system by arbitrarily dividing the membership equally into two groups. The dissolution of the People’s Party caused President Cleveland to send a telegram of “Congratulations to the Democracy of this Territory on their organization.”

After the Mormon Church abolished polygamy and the People’s Party, the leaders tried to protect those Mormons who had been prosecuted for polygamy by requesting amnesty from President Harrison. On December 21, 1891, the Church leaders submitted a formal petition for amnesty endorsed by Governor Arthur L. Thomas and Chief Justice Zane. President Harrison was reluctant to grant it, since it was an election year and would alienate voters. But after he lost the election, he agreed to the grant of amnesty. Republican leaders thought it would vindicate the party since they promised to help the Mormons gain statehood, and Utah’s admission as a state had political significance. On January 4, 1893, Harrison granted amnesty and a pardon “to all persons liable . . . by reason of unlawful cohabitation . . . who since November 1, 1890, have abstained from unlawful cohabitation.” In July the Utah Commission proclaimed that “amnestied polygamists be allowed to vote.” (Poll, 392)

Utah was in the home stretch to finally become a state. On July 16, 1894, President Grover Cleveland, in his second term, granted a pardon to all, restoring civil rights to all former polygamists who had been disenfranchised. At the same time he signed the Enabling Act which Congress passed delineating the final steps required to advance to statehood. As the New York Times reported at the time, “The signing of the Utah Bill for Statehood closes one of the most remarkable contests in the history of American politics. The Territory has been an applicant for statehood and really eligible in population and wealth for many years….The struggle over polygamy and the Mormon Church has deferred it admission until the present time.” (NYT, 7–18–1894)

All that remained was to hold a constitutional convention. On November 6, 1894, voters elected 107 delegates to the convention in Salt Lake City; 77 were Mormons and 30 were polygamists. On March 4, 1895, the delegates met to frame the new state’s constitution, which included this clause: “polygamous or plural marriages are forever prohibited.” (Utah Constitution) The constitution was completed on May 6, 1895, signed on May 8, and ratified at the general election on November 5, 1895.

Finally, on January 4, 1896, Utah was admitted as the 45th state in the Union, and its entry was based on the Mormon Church’s renunciation of polygamy. Most of those outside the church believed the issue of polygamy was put to rest, but some critics remained suspicious that many of the plural marriages that were performed before 1890, were not in fact aborted. Still B. Carmon Hardy writes, “To most outside the church, however, Mormonism appeared honestly and forever to have put its greatest evil away. The [Woodruff] Manifesto had succeeded in its intent and Utah had won its star in the flag.” (Hardy, 153) Although Utah was admitted into the union over a hundred years ago the polygamist past of the Mormons still haunts them, as Mitt Romney has discovered in his quest for the presidency in 2008 and 2012.

SOURCES AND READ MORE

Gordon, Sarah Barringer. The Mormon Question: Polygamy and Constitutional Conflict in Nineteenth Century America. Chapel Hill: University of North Carloina Press, 2002.

Hardy, B. Carmon. Solemn Covenant: The Mormon Polygamous Passage. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1992).

Iversen, Joan Smyth. “A Debate on the American Home: The Antipolygamy Controversy, 1880–1890.” Journal of the History of Sexuality, Vol. 1, №4. (Apr., 1991), pp. 585–602.

Larsen, Gustive O. The Americanization of Utah for Statehood. San Marino, Calif.: Huntington Library, 1971.

Lyman, Edward Leo. Political Deliverance: The Mormon Quest for Utah Statehood. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1986.

Poll, Richard D. et al. eds. Utah’s History. Logan: Utah State University Press, 1989.

Sarna, Jonathan D. ed. Minority Faiths and the American Protestant Mainstream. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1997.

Bonnie K. Goodman has a BA and MLIS from McGill University and has done graduate work in religion at Concordia University. She is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor, and a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion, and news. She has a dozen years of experience in education & political journalism.

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OTD in History Tisha B’Av the most tragic day in Jewish history

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

HISTORY, NEWS & POLITICS

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OTD in History Tisha B’Av the most tragic day in Jewish history

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

On this day in history, some of the most disastrous and sorrowful events in Jewish History occurred coincidently on the Hebrew date of Tishah B’Av, where the Holy Temples were destroyed not once but twice. On Tishah B’Av we mourn the destruction of the First and Second Temples, Beit HaMikdash, they are considered but two of the five historical events the Mishnah, the books of Jewish oral laws names as reasons to fast on this day. Throughout history, calamity after calamity alternating between mass deaths and expulsions befalling the Jewish people on this specific calendar date in a span of over 3000 years.

The first historical event and the one that set this day as a tragic day for thousands of years occurred in the Bible, the Torah in the book of Numbers, Bamidbar Chapter 13 and 14. In 1312 BCE (2448), Moses sent 12 representatives from each of the tribes to go over the mountain and scout the land of Israel before entering. In the forty days, the 12 spies examined Israel and they took back with them “a branch with a cluster of grapes” and “some pomegranates and figs.” When they returned they told Moses, “We came to the land to which you sent us, and it is flowing with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. However, the people who inhabit the land are mighty, and the cities are extremely huge and fortified, and there we saw even the offspring of the giant… We are unable to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.”

Only Caleb from the tribe of Judah and Joshua spoke positively about Israel. The other spies told the Israelites, “The land we passed through to explore is a land that consumes its inhabitants, and all the people we saw in it are men of stature.” Afterward, “The entire community raised their voices and shouted, and the people wept on that night.” They complained to Moses, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt, or if only we had died in this desert,” and they wanted to return to Egypt. Caleb and Joshua spoke up and defended the land of Israel telling them “If the Lord desires us, He will bring us to this land and give it to us, a land flowing with milk and honey…. the Lord is with us; do not fear them.”

Hashem / God responded and promised not to let in those over age 20 to Israel because of their doubt, leading to the Israelites wandering 40 years in the desert, “In this very wilderness shall your carcasses drop. Of all of you who were recorded in your various lists from the age of twenty years up, you who have muttered against Me, not one shall enter the land in which I swore to settle you — save Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.” All of this happened on Tisha B’Av and The Israelites response led to the string of tragedies that have plagued Jewry for thousands of years. According to the Midrash, “The Holy One said to them ‘You cried for no reason? For future generations, I am fixing this night as a night for crying [for good reason].” (Numbers Rabbah 16:20, Rubin, 118)

In 586 B.C.E. (3340), Zedekiah, a King of Judea installed by King of Babylonia Nebuchadnezzar, rebelled and joined into an alliance with Egypt. Nebuchadnezzar’s response was a Siege on Jerusalem lasting months, the city was captured and Babylonian general Nebuzaraddan’s mission was to destroy the whole city including the First Holy Temple built by King Solomon. Afterward, most of the Jewish population was exiled to Babylonia with only a few left in Judah.

In 70 C.E. (3830), the Jews fought back against the Roman aggressors, the Siege of Jerusalem was the climax of the First Jewish–Roman War. The Roman Army under future Emperor Titus commenced his siege of Jerusalem during Pesach, by Av, he looked to capture the temple for Rome, however, fighting at the temple fortress led to a Roman soldier to throw a burning stick at the temple’s wall in no time the temple was destroyed by the 10th of Av, late July. Jerusalem would fall by September 8, after the fall of Herod’s Palace.

In 125 C.E (3892), Simon bar Kokhba led a revolt against the Romans in The Third Jewish–Roman War or Second Revolt of Judea over their Romanizing Judah, rebuilding Jerusalem as Aelia Capitolina and building a Roman temple Jupiter on the site of the Temple ruins. The early revolt was successful enough that in 132, the Jews regained control of much of Judah and installed bar Kokhba as the leader with the title prince. The success led many Jews to consider him the Messiah.

By 134, the Roman fought backs under General Sextus Julius Severus. Bar Kokhba fought his final battle on August 4, 135 CE at Betar. The Romans disseminated the Jewish population, with 580,000 killed, and more deaths from harsh conditions including starvation and disease additionally 50 “fortified towns and 985 villages were razed,” including Betar. The Romans left the Jews living at the periphery of Judah but attempted to wipe out the Jewish connection to Israel, with Roman commander Turnus Rufus plowing the Temple ruins. The Roman banned the Jews from entering Jerusalem except for Tisha B’Av.

Throughout history, the date continued to bring despair to the exiled Jewish community:

On August 15, 1096 (4856), the First Crusade began, sanctioned by the Catholic Church, their aim was to conquer the Holy Land from the Muslims. In 1095, Pope Urban II gave a sermon at the Council of Clermont advocating for the crusade to help Byzantine Empire Emperor Alexios I in his fight against the Muslim Turks and guaranteeing Christian access. In the first month, as German Christian soldiers headed towards the Holy Land, they pillaged and destroyed European Jewish communities in their path including killing 10,000 in France and the Rhineland in the persecutions of 1096 or Gzerot Tatenu, “Edicts of 856.” In “Hurban Shum” (Destruction of Shum), the soldiers decimated the Jewish communities in Speyer, Worms, and Mainz. The pogroms were the first instance of anti-Semitism in Europe. On July 14, 1099, the soldiers captured Jerusalem.

On July 18, 1290 (5050), King Edward I signed the Edict of Expulsion evicting the Jewish community in England, the community would have to leave by November 1, All Saints day. The Jewish community in England was as old as William the Conqueror’s reign starting in 1066. Jews mostly served as merchants and then moneylenders and in the Feudal society were “direct subjects of the King,” where the King always had to renew a charter. Their economic roles led to an increase in anti-Semitism, and in 1190, 100 Jews were killed in the Massacre of York. In the thirteenth century, the Jewish situation deteriorated and King Henry III required them to wear a badge with the 1253 Statute of Jewry and imposed high taxes.

In the 1260s, there were pogroms during the Second Barons War attacking Jews in London, Worchester, and Canterbury. In 1275, King Edward banned Jews from usury, lending money with interest and decided in exchange levying high taxes to expel the Jews for not complying with the statute. The edict was enforced until 1657. In 1655, Menasseh ben Israel, the leader of Amsterdam’s Jewish community petitioned British Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell to allow the Jews to return citing the economic benefits to England.

On July 22, 1306, (10 Av, 5066), King Philip IV mass arrests France’s Jews then notified them of their eviction. King Phillip was referred to as “the Fair,” and he ruled from 1285 to 1314. King Philip’s expulsion of the Jews was related to his desire to make France “most Christian realm” and funding his military. In the years leading up to the expulsion, King Phillip demanded Jews wear a badge and pay a fine for doing so, he restricted where Jews could live and restricted their contact with Christians. King Phillip wanted to outdo his cousin King Edward and refused to let the Jews expelled from England into France. He also believed himself more spiritual than Pope Boniface VIII. Most importantly, however, where the financial benefits, the King would not allow Jews to take any of their belongings and property, and all debts owed would be paid to the King. By 1311, all Jews were out of the country but within a few years, Louis X readmitted the Jews in 1315.

On July 31, 1492, (7 Av, 5252) King Fernando and Queen Isabella executed their expulsion of Spain Jewry after the Spanish Inquisition. Three months earlier on March 31, they issued the Alhambra Decree, the Edict of Expulsion requiring all Jews to leave the Kingdoms of Castile and Aragon. The main reason was to prevent influence on the conversos, formerly half the Jewish population, who converted by force to Christianity in 1391 after persecution. By 1415, 50,000 more converted and by the time of the decree, “200,000 Jews converted to Catholicism.” King Fernando and Queen Isabella feared the conversos might go back to Judaism, which many in fact were secretly practicing. Only 40,000 to 100,000 Jews left with the decree. Jews only started to return to Spain in the late nineteenth century and the Second Vatican Council formally revoked the decree in 1968.

More recently major historical events on this date lead to the Holocaust and destruction of European Jewry. On August 1–2, 1914 (9–10 Av, 5674) Germany declared war commencing World War I. Several incidences in World War II led to the Holocaust and Nazi Germany extermination of European Jewry. On August 2, 1941 (9 Av, 5701), the Nazi Party approved and informed SS commander Heinrich Himmler of “The Final Solution” formally beginning the Holocaust. A year later on July 23, 1942 (9Av, 5702), the Nazis began transporting Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto to Treblinka concentration camp, six million Jews would be killed during the Holocaust once the war finished in 1945.

The tragic events kept on coming, with no stop up to recent history. On July 18, 1994, 10 Av, 5754, an attack on the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA; Argentine Israelite Mutual Association) building killed 85 and injured 300, it is suspected that Hamas and Iran are behind the attack, Ansar Allah, a Hamas front claimed responsibility. On August 15, 2005, 10 Av, 5765, Israel begins their disengagement from Gaza dismantling all the Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip. In a month, Israel evicted 8,000 Israelis from 21 settlements, and 4 additional settlements in the northern West Bank.

Despite the continual sorrowful events, the Jews continued on, with a spirit of survival and a will to thrive. As Chabad points out, “To date, Jewish history spans over 3,300 years. To be born a Jew today is not an accident of birth but the sum total of over 3,300 years of ancestral self-sacrifice, of heroes who at times gave their very lives for their beliefs. Greeks, Romans, Crusaders, Nazis, and Communists all tried to obliterate Jewish practice and faith but failed. The indomitable Jewish spirit survived and clung to its traditions despite all odds.”

Bonnie K. Goodman has a BA and MLIS from McGill University and has done graduate work in religion at Concordia University. She is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor, and a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

Political Musings February 7, 2015: Obama historically right about Christianity ISIS comparison at National Prayer Breakfast

POLITICAL MUSINGS

https://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/pol_musings.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 114TH CONGRESS:

Obama historically right about Christianity ISIS comparison at Prayer Breakfast

By Bonnie K. Goodman

President Barack Obama caused quite the controversy at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015 when he discussed extremism in religion and then proceeded to make comparisons between the Christian Crusades, Inquisition and ISIS, the Islamic State of…READ MORE

History Headlines March 19, 2013: Thousands Pack St. Peter’s Square for Pope Francis’ Inaugural Mass

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Thousands Pack St. Peter’s Square for Pope Francis’ Inaugural Mass

Source: ABC News Radio, 3-19-13

L’Osservatore Romano/Getty Images

Tens of thousands of people filled St. Peter’s Square on Tuesday to welcome Pope Francis, the first Latin American pontiff, and celebrate his inaugural Mass in front of numerous heads of state from around the world.

The 76-year-old Argentine rode around the square in an open-air jeep as he waved and kissed babies along the way.  He exited the jeep at one point to bless a man who was in a wheelchair….READ MORE

Full Text History Headlines March 13, 2013: Pope Francis’s First Blessing / Speech After Election to Crowds in St Peter’s Square — Transcript

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New Pope Francis’s first words after election

Source: Reuters, 3-13-13

Here is a transcript of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio’s first words as pope as translated by Reuters from the Italian.

Brothers and sisters, good evening. You know that the duty of the conclave was to give a bishop to Rome. It seems that my brother cardinals went almost to the end of the world to get him. But here we are.

I thank you for this welcome by the diocesan community of Rome to its bishop. Thank you.

First of all, I would like to say a prayer for our bishop emeritus, Benedict XVI.Let us all pray together for him, let us all pray together for him so that the Lord my bless him and that the Madonna may protect him.

(The new pope then prayed the “Lord’s Prayer”, the “Hail Mary” and the “Glory Be” with the crowd in Italian).

He then continued:

And now, let us start this journey, bishop and people, bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome, which leads all the Churches in charity, a journey of fraternity, of love, of trust among us.

Let us always pray for us, one for the other, let us pray for the whole world, so that there may be a great fraternity. I hope that this journey of the Church that we begin today and which my cardinal vicar, who is here with me, will help me with, may be fruitful for the evangelisation of this beautiful city.

Now, I would like to give you a blessing, but first I want to ask you for a favour.Before the bishop blesses the people, I ask that you pray to the Lord so that he blesses me. This is the prayer of the people who are asking for the blessing of their bishop.

In silence, let us say this prayer of you for me.

(After a few seconds of silent prayer, he then delivered his blessing).

He then concluded:

Tomorrow I want to go to pray to the Madonna so that she protects all of Rome. Good night and have a good rest.

History Headlines March 13, 2013: Pope Francis: A pope of many historical firsts

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Francis: A pope of many firsts

Source: USA Today, 3-13-13

None

When Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was named as the new pope at the Vatican on Wednesday, he kicked off a series of firsts:

— First pontiff from the Americas

— First South American pope, representing the largest Catholic population in the world

— First Jesuit pope

— First pope to pick the name Francis

— First pope to be elected after a papal resignation (in the modern era)….READ MORE

Key facts about the new pope

Source: USA Today, 3-10-13

Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the 76-year-old cardinal and archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina was named Benedict XVI’s successor on Wednesday….READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency March 13, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Statement on His Holiness Pope Francis

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

Statement from the President on His Holiness Pope Francis

Source: WH, 3-13-13 

On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I offer our warm wishes to His Holiness Pope Francis as he ascends to the Chair of Saint Peter and begins his papacy.  As a champion of the poor and the most vulnerable among us, he carries forth the message of love and compassion that has inspired the world for more than two thousand years—that in each other we see the face of God.  As the first pope from the Americas, his selection also speaks to the strength and vitality of a region that is increasingly shaping our world, and alongside millions of Hispanic Americans, those of us in the United States share the joy of this historic day.  Just as I appreciated our work with Pope Benedict XVI, I look forward to working with His Holiness to advance peace, security and dignity for our fellow human beings, regardless of their faith.  We join with people around the world in offering our prayers for the Holy Father as he begins the sacred work of leading the Catholic Church in our modern world.

History Headlines March 13, 2013: Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina is elected pope becomes first Pope Francis I

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Argentina’s Bergoglio becomes Pope Francis

Source: CNN, 3-13-13

None
Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina has become Pope Francis.

  • New pope is Argentina’s Cardinal Bergoglio, who takes the name Pope Francis.
  • Francis, 76, is the first non-European pope in the modern era and the first South American pope.
  • He’s also the first Pope Francis, and the third straight non-Italian pope.
  • Election comes on first full day of the cardinals’ conclave in the Sistine Chapel. It appears to have come on the fifth ballot; at least 77 of the 115 cardinal votes were needed for a pope to be chosen.
  • New pope succeeds Pope Benedict XVI, who was the first pope to resign in hundreds of years. He stepped down February 28, citing advanced age.
  • Updates below; full story here; what’s in a pope’s name?….READ MORE

History Headlines March 13, 2013: White smoke: Catholic cardinals choose new pope

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White smoke: Catholic cardinals choose new pope

Source: USA Today, 3-13-13

AFP 518134685
White smoke rises from the chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel meaning that cardinals elected a new pope on the second day of their secret conclave on March 13, 2013 at the Vatican. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLIALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images ORG XMIT: 176 ORIG FILE ID: 518134685(Photo: ALBERTO PIZZOLI AFP/Getty Images)

Story Highlights

  • First vote was held Tuesday
  • Thousands crowd St. Peter’s Square
  • Pope Benedict XVI resigned effective Feb. 28

White smoke poured out of the Sistine Chapel chimney Wednesday to roars of joy from the throngs jamming St. Peter’s Square.

The new pope, his name not yet revealed, is expected to greet the masses from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basillica shortly….READ MORE

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