ROME – Archbishop of Buenos Aires Argentina, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, has been elected as ‘Pope Francis I’, a real surprise for mostly everyone who followed the Papal election around the world.
NDJ World | Published: Mar 13 2013 Europe→World News
Facts about Pope Francis I:
Pope Francis I (76) is the first Latin-American Pope ever chosen to lead the Roman Catholic Church. He is also the first Jesuit to be elected Pope.
Born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Pope Francis I decided to join the ‘Order of the Jesuits’ in his native country of Argentina, when he was just 22 years old. He’s dad worked for the Argentine rail road.
Members of the Jesuit Order focus on austerity and obedience and are distinguished further by the absolute obedience to the Pope; they do not fall under the authority of the Bishop.
In 1969, less than four years after joining the priesthood, Bergoglio was nominated head of the Jesuit Order; one of the largest Catholic orders in the world.
For a long time, Bergoglio was a scientist. He studied science at the University of Buenos Aires.
This was followed by another degree in philosophy, after which he finally obtained his doctorate in theology in Germany.
After completing his studies in Germany, Bergoglio returned to Argentina where he spent his days as a pastor for the city of Cordoba.
Like many Latin-American colleagues, Jorge Mario Bergoglio is known as being simultaneously socially engaged and conservative in theological terms.
In 1992, he was nominated as ‘assistant-bishop’ for Buenos Aires.
In 1996, he became Archbishop for Buenos Aires and five years later he was promoted to Cardinal.
During the election of former Pope Benedictus XVI (Joseph Ratzinger) eight years ago, Bergoglio was a favorite to win. By the third election round only Ratzinger with 77 votes and Bergoglio with 40 votes were the remaining contenders in the Papal race.
Ratzinger was twelve votes short to be chosen Pope and Bergoglio could have ‘given him a run for his money’ but decided to graciously ‘step aside’ and allow Ratzinger to become Pope Benedictus XVI.
In 2010 Bergoglio received international publicity when he lead the Argentine Campaign against ‘same sex marriages’.
But when the Cardinal asked believers to fight ‘God’s war’ against this ‘project of the devil’, Argentine President Cristina Kirchner accused him of going back to ‘the times of the inquisition’.
In 2012, Bergoglio made news once again when he called Catholic priests ‘hypocrites’ for refusing to baptize children conceived through extramarital marriages.
The new pope has only one lung. He likely lost one lung more than 50 years ago, at a time when severe fungal infections or pneumonia were treated with surgery because antibiotics weren’t widely available.
He is an avid soccer fan. His favorite team is San Lorenzo de Almagro from Boedo, a suburb of Buenos Aires. The team plays at the highest soccer division of Argentina and won the country’s championship in 1972.
The newly elected Pope also loves Tango music. Although he says he is not a dancer, he loves hearing the beat of Argentine Tango music.
Pope Franciscus I is fluent in Spanish, Italian, Latin and German. He also speaks some English.
Pope Francis I leads an frugal lifestyle: he does not own a car and uses public transportation to get around. He lives in a simple apartment above the Archbishop’s Palace.
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