SAN FRANCISCO (CBS / AP) — California Gov. Jerry Brown, who trained as a Jesuit, said Wednesday that he is pleased to see a Jesuit elected pope.
The former seminarian was asked his opinion about the selection of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina after an event to promote solar power and wind energy.
“I’m glad he’s a Jesuit,” Brown told reporters during a question-and-answer session. “He is from Argentina, so that might give him a broader perspective to see the world through the Southern Hemisphere, but what the hell do I know? I thought Jesuits weren’t allowed to consider higher office. At least they weren’t in my day.”
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As a young man, Brown spent two years studying to become a priest at a Jesuit seminary in the Bay Area, the Novitiate of the Sacred Heart in Los Gatos. After serving as governor from 1975 to 1983, he also studied Zen Buddhism at a Japanese monastery and later briefly worked alongside Mother Teresa in India.
Before commenting on the selection of the pope, Brown referenced the papal conclave while answering a question about the state’s prison reorganization. He acknowledged that the prison changes have not been perfect, but added, “We don’t have that prerogative they have over there in Rome of infallibility.”
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