More About This Story
The New Pope’s Problems In 92 Seconds
- 03/15/2013 10:25 AM EDT
This is former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, aka Pope Francis, the new leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics. Here’s a little bit about the man beneath the Pope hat.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born in 1936 in Buenos Aires, as one of five kids of an Italian immigrant railroad worker. He got advanced degrees in chemistry, philosophy, and theology. In 1969 he became a Jesuit -- an order known for its missionary work and focus on education.
In 1998, Bergoglio became the Archbishop of Buenos Aires and in 2001, Pope John Paul II made him a cardinal. He’s known for his humility and conservative stances.
Bergoglio fiercely opposes abortion, contraception, euthanasia, homosexuality, and divorce. He’s committed to social justice, but he’s not as politically liberal as many latin american clergymen.
In Buenos Aires, he lives in a small apartment, cooks his own meals, rides the bus and chats with fellow riders about his favorite soccer team, San Lorenzo.
To The Papacy!
When Pope John Paul II died in 2005, Bergoglio was the runner-up to replace him. In 2010, Argentina introduced gay marriage legislation, which Bergoglio called “a destructive pretension against the plan of God.” He’s also said that gay adoption is “discrimination against children.” Argentina’s President, Cristina Kirchner says his tone’s reminiscent of “medieval times and the inquisition.”
But the laws pass.
In February 2013, Pope Benedict XVI retired. This time, Bergoglio wins and he takes the name Francis. He’s 76-years old, the first Jesuit and South American ever to be named Pope. It’s a move to energize churchgoers in latin america -- home to 40 percent of the world’s catholics.
He inherits many challenges: the church is racked with sex abuse and financial scandals and it’s losing ground to other religions in the developing world. The Vatican’s notoriously hostile to reform -- so time will tell if Pope Francis’s legacy will be anything more than just a geographical first.