Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires is now Pope Francisco.
The new pope asked the people to pray for him before he prayed for them.
He is the first Jesuit pope, and the first from Latin America (although he is of Italian decent).
Here’s Sam Jones on Bergoglio:
“The archbishop of Buenos Aires is a Jesuit intellectual who travels by bus and has a practical approach to poverty: when he was appointed a cardinal, Bergoglio persuaded hundreds of Argentinians not to fly to Rome to celebrate with him but instead to give the money they would have spent on plane tickets to the poor. He was a fierce opponent of Argentina’s decision to legalise gay marriage in 2010, arguing children need to have the right to be raised and educated by a father and a mother. He was created a cardinal by John Paul II on 21 February 2001.”
Couldn’t prevent Argentina from becoming the first Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage or stop its president, Cristina Fernandez, from promoting free contraception and artificial insemination. When Bergoglio argued that gay adoptions discriminate against children, Fernandez compared his tone to “medieval times and the Inquisition.”
Critics accuse him of failing to stand up publicly against the country’s military dictatorship from 1976-1983, when victims and their relatives often brought first-hand accounts of torture, death and kidnappings.
…part of Bergoglio’s appeal, someone who personally straddles the divide between the Jesuits and the ciellini, and more broadly, between liberals and conservatives in the church.
Bergoglio has supported the social justice ethos of Latin American Catholicism, including a robust defense of the poor.
“We live in the most unequal part of the world, which has grown the most yet reduced misery the least,” Bergoglio said during a gathering of Latin American bishops in 2007. “The unjust distribution of goods persists, creating a situation of social sin that cries out to Heaven and limits the possibilities of a fuller life for so many of our brothers.”
At the same time, he has generally tended to accent growth in personal holiness over efforts for structural reform.
Bergoglio is seen an unwaveringly orthodox on matters of sexual morality, staunchly opposing abortion, same-sex marriage, and contraception. In 2010 he asserted that gay adoption is a form of discrimination against children, earning a public rebuke from Argentina’s President, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.
Nevertheless, he has shown deep compassion for the victims of HIV-AIDS; in 2001, he visited a hospice to kiss and wash the feet of 12 AIDS patients.
Bergoglio also won high marks for his compassionate response to the 1994 bombing in Buenos Aires of a seven-story building housing the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association and the Delegation of the Argentine Jewish Association. It was one of the worst anti-Jewish attacks ever in Latin America, and in 2005 Rabbi Joseph Ehrenkranz of the Center for Christian-Jewish Understanding at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut, praised Bergoglio’s leadership.
“He was very concerned with what happened, Ehrenkranz said. “He’s got experience.