Presenting the new Pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio.
First Jesuit pope. First non-European pope within the last 1000 years. First Latin American Pope (which may help reverse the decline in Latin American Catholicism). He has a degree in chemistry. He’s 76. He believes in the use of contraception to prevent disease.
“He is well remembered for his 2001 visit to a hospice, in which he washed and kissed the feet of twelve AIDS patients.”
There is a new Pope in town: Argentine cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was chosen today to fill the papal shoes of Pope Benedict, who resigned last month.
Apparently he has said that gay marriage rights are the work of the devil, but isn’t completely intolerant re: homosexuality (!?).
The new Pope on gay marriage: “Let’s not be naive, we’re not talking about a simple political battle; it is a destructive pretension against the plan of God. We are not talking about a mere bill, but rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.” (en.wikipedia.org)
He’s said economic inequality is a violation of human rights. He seems to be, within the context of the Catholic priesthood, middle of the road—neither conservative nor progressive.
“Argentine cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio will be known as Francis I. He is the first pope to be known by that name, and the first from the Americas.
Bergoglio, 76, has spent nearly his entire career at home in Argentina, overseeing churches and shoe-leather priests. The archbishop of Buenos Aires reportedly got the second-most votes after Joseph Ratzinger in the 2005 papal election, and he has long specialized in the kind of pastoral work that some say is an essential skill for the next pope.
In a lifetime of teaching and leading priests in Latin America, which has the largest share of the world’s Catholics, Bergoglio has shown a keen political sensibility as well as the kind of self-effacing humility that fellow cardinals value highly. Bergoglio is known for modernizing an Argentine church that had been among the most conservative in Latin America.
At 7:07 p.m., local time, white smoke billowed from the Sistine Chapel, signalling that a new pope had been elected after only two days of voting and five ballots. It came as a surprise, because there was no frontrunner going into the conclave and Vatican watchers had expected another day of voting after two inconclusive votes this morning.
St. Peter’s Square erupted in shouts and cheers and clapping when the white smoke emerged. The bells of St. Peter’s basilica began to ring immediately after the white smoke went up.”
~ Excerpt from The Globe and Mail