News / Europe

Argentinian Cardinal Bergoglio Becomes Pope Francis

Pope Francis waves to the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, March 13, 2013.
Pope Francis waves to the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, March 13, 2013.
Zlatica Hoke
Pope Francis

-Full name: Jorge Mario Bergoglio
-Born December 17, 1936 (age 76) in Buenos Aires, Argentina
-Made cardinal by Pope John Paul II in February 2001
-First pope from Latin America
-First Jesuit pope
The Roman Catholic church got its first Latin American pontiff Wednesday when a secret papal conclave elected Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as its new leader.  Pope Francis is also the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium.

Joyful cheers him when Pope Francis appeared on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, dressed in a simple white robe.

Among the thousands greeting the pontiff were pilgrims from Argentina who could not contain their excitement.

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who became the 266th Roman Catholic pontiff Wednesday, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1936.

He was a son of Italian immigrants and his father was a railroad worker.

The new leader of 1.2 billion Catholics chose to be known as Pope Francis. He is the first Latin American leader of the Church.

Latin America is home to the world's largest concentration of Catholics, with Brazil and Mexico having the largest Catholic populations.

Pope Francis studied liberal arts in Santiago, Chile, and in 1960 earned a degree in philosophy from the Catholic University of Buenos Aires.

He was ordained a priest in 1969, and is part of the Society of Jesus, commonly known as the Jesuits. Before becoming a cardinal in 2001, he served as the Archbishop of Buenos Aires from 1998.

As a priest and a cardinal he became known for his simple lifestyle, personal humility, doctrinal conservatism and a commitment to social justice.
"I cannot explain it, this is tremendous," said one. "This is the first time I am in Rome and to have an Argentinian pope - it's tremendous"

"We are very happy as Argentinians, I think he is a very well prepared person and we need to pray for the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ to give him the strength to lead the Catholic church," said another.

The 76-year-old pontiff also noted that his fellow cardinals looked around the globe to find a successor for Pope Emeritus Benedict.  

"Brothers and sisters, good evening." said Pope Francis. "As you know the duty of the conclave is to give Rome a bishop. It seems that my brothers cardinals went almost to the end of the world.  But we are here."

The new pope, who was born in Buenos Aires to a family of Italian immigrants, spent most of his life in Argentina.  After receiving a master's degree in chemistry at the University of Buenos Aires he decided to become a Jesuit.  He was ordained a priest in 1969.

After years of teaching at Catholic school and seminaries and spending time counseling priests he became the new archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998 and was made cardinal in 2001.

During the 2005 conclave that elected Pope Benedict, Cardinal Bergoglio was said the have received the second largest number of votes.

He has been known for his humble personal life and for his doctrinal conservatism.  In 2010, when Argentina became the first Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriages, Cardinal Bergoglio encouraged clergy across the country to urge Catholics to protest.
He said the legislation would be harmful to the family.

He was also accused of complicity in the 1976 kidnapping of two liberal Jesuit priests under Argentina's military regime, a charge he flatly denied.

But Bergoglio was also known as a great defender of the poor.  And even though he opposes homosexuality he has called for respect toward homosexuals.  About 10 years ago, he also visited a hospice for victims of HIV-AIDS and kissed and washed feet of some patients there.

Latin America is home to the largest number of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, with Brazil and Mexico having the largest Catholic populations.

  • Newly elected Pope Francis, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, appears on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, March 13, 2013.
  • April 4, 2005: Jorge Mario Bergoglio conducts a mass in honor of Pope John Paul II at the Buenos Aires cathedral. Bergoglio of Argentina was elected pope on March 13, 2013 to lead the Roman Catholic Church.
  • Crowds cheer as white smoke rises from the chimney above the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, March 13, 2013.
  • White smoke rising from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel, indicating that a new pope has been elected.
  • Crowds cheer as white smoke rises from the chimney above the Sistine Chapel, March 13, 2013.
  • Nuns smile in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican, March 13, 2013.
  • People crowd Saint Peter's Square to await the sight of smoke from the chimney above the Sistine Chapel.
  • Visitors wait in Saint Peter's Square during the second day of voting, March 13, 2013.
  • Black smoke rises from the chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican City indicating that no decision has been made after the first day of voting for the election of a new pope, March 12, 2013.
  • The crowd waits during the conclave in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican, March 12, 2013.
  • A view of the balcony on the facade of Saint Peter's Basilica where the newly elected pope will make his first appearance to salute the cheering crowd, at the Vatican, March 11, 2013.
  • Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican is silhouetted during sunset in Rome, March 11, 2013.
  • Saint Peter's Square, seen from the dome of Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican.

You May Like

Video Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planeti
X
George Putic
March 04, 2015 8:51 PM
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More