New Pope Elected

Archbishop of Buenos Aires Jorge Mario Bergoglio Becomes Pope Francis

Archbishop of Buenos Aires Jorge Mario Bergoglio Becomes Pope Francis

The Archbishop of Buenos Aires Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, is now the pope. The new leader of the Catholic Church represents a lot of firsts. He is the first pope to take the name Francis, the first non-European pope in modern time, and the first pope from Latin America. He is also the first Jesuit pope. Born in Argentina, his father was an Italian immigrant, and he joined the Jesuit order when he was 21 and became a priest at 32. Pope Francis is known for his humility and began his first papal address by asking the crowd to pray to God so that God would bless him. In Buenos Aires, he takes the bus, and when he became a cardinal, he encouraged his Argentinean supporters to donate their money to the poor, rather than travel to Rome to celebrate. He also decided to live in a small apartment, rather than the grander residence of the archbishop.

As for his record, he has no connection to the sex abuse scandal. He opposed Argentina's decision to legalize gay marriage, but on contraception, he has signaled support for its use to prevent disease. He has been very outspoken against poverty and inequality.

The news was announced Wednesday evening after white smoke came out of the Sistine Chapel. The newly elected pope is the 266th successor to St. Peter. According to tradition, he received at least two-thirds of the votes, or the support of 77 cardinals. It took five rounds of voting, one more than it took when Pope Benedict XVI was elected in 2005. At the Vatican, thousands of people have gathered as church bells ring in celebration.

Source: Getty