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Home English Argentinian Jorge Mario Bergoglio elected pope

Argentinian Jorge Mario Bergoglio elected pope


Vatican City, March 13 - Buenos Aires Archbishop
Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected pope Wednesday, taking the
name Francis I.
Francis, 76, is the first Jesuit pope, and the first
non-European pontiff in over 1300 years.
He is doctrinally conservative like his predecessor
Benedict XVI though he is considered progressive for his strong
support of helping the poor.
In his first words on the balcony of St Peter's, he said
the cardinals who elected him had chosen someone "from the end
of the Earth", then prayed an Our Father for Pope Emeritus
Benedict XVI, who stepped down last month.
The soft-spoken prelate was elected roughly 24 hours after
the first voting sessions closed Tuesday - a quick turnaround in
an election where no clear frontrunner had emerged beforehand.
It took only five scrutinies, or ballots, to reach a
two-thirds majority, or 77 votes, among the 115
cardinal-electors inside the Sistine Chapel during the conclave.
Francis was a strong contender in 2005, coming in second
when cardinals ultimately elected Benedict XVI, according to
some Vatican watchers, and according to the diary of a
cardinal-elector encouraged his supporters not to vote for him.
One of five children, he is the son of a railway worker.
As a student he worked as a bouncer at a nightclub to
support himself.
He is known to like tango, and even had a girlfriend he
danced with before becoming a priest.
Bergoglio has so far lived in a modest flat, is said to
cook his own meals, and gave up a car and driver in favor of
public transportation.
He is the 266th pope and leader of the world's 1.2 billion
Bergoglio, whose great-grandfather was from the northern
Italian region of Piedmont, is believed to be close to the
Communion and Liberation movement, a doctrinally conservative
group founded in the 1960s partly in response to Marxism and
other leftist movements.
His predecessors Benedict XVI and John Paul II were
supporters of the movement.
While he is not known to spend much time preaching about
helping the impoverished, some of his actions stand out.
Upon being named a cardinal in 2001, he encouraged people
not to spend money to celebrate with him in Rome and instead to
donate the funds to the poor.
As a cardinal he has been known for personal humility and a
commitment to social justice, while his approach tends to stress
that proper interpretation and practice of the gospels will
ultimately produce such things naturally.
He is known to draw significant crowds in Argentina and is
a key figure in the Church in South America.
Despite his reputation for conservatism, he has not always
approved of the rigidity of the Church on some issues such as
sexuality, discouraging discrimination of gays and lesbians.
His opposition to leftist Liberation Theology left him
vulnerable to largely unfounded allegations of complicity with
the dictatorial regime in the 1970s.
During the Holy Year of 2000, he publicly repented for the
sins committed in his country during that period.
Bergoglio is a professor of literature and psychology.
Born in Buenos Aires on December 17, 1936, he studied and
graduated in chemical engineering, but then chose the priesthood
and entered the seminary in Villa Devoto.
On March 11, 1958 he joined the novitiate of the Society of
Jesus, or the Jesuits.
After studying humanities in Chile, he returned to Buenos
Aires in 1963 and earned a degree in philosophy.
He was ordained a priest in December 1969.
In 1973 he was elected provincial of Argentina, a position
he held for six years.
He is the author of the books Meditaciones para Religiosos
(1982), Reflexiones sobre la Vida Apostolica (1986) and
Reflexiones de Esperanza (1992).
John Paul II appointed him titular bishop of Auca and
Auxiliary of Buenos Aires in May 1992.
On June 27 of the same year he was ordained a bishop in the
Cathedral of Buenos Aires.

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