A New Non-European Jesuit Pope is Named

Mar 14, 2013

Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was surprisingly elected to be the new leader of a troubled Roman Catholic Church on Wednesday, taking the name Francis I and becoming the first non-European pope in nearly 13 centuries.

Pope Francis

Pope Francis, 76, showed himself on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica an hour after white smoke poured from the Sistine Chapel's chimney to signal 115 cardinal electors had chosen him to spearhead the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.

Francis became the 266th pontiff in the Church's 2,000-year history at a troubling time, with the church under scrutiny over a child sex abuse scandal and torn by issues in the Vatican bureaucracy.

The choice of Bergoglio, who is the first Latin American and first Jesuit pope, was announced by French cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran with the Latin words "Habemus Papam" ("We have a pope.")

Being a Jesuit he is expected to bring radical change of style in leading the Church indicated by his choice for the first time of the name of St Francis of Assisi, who died in 1226 after living a life of poverty and simplicity.

In sum, our new pope is an intellectual Jesuit who is living a pastoral life of simplicity and poverty which was displayed when he shunned the papal limousine after his appearance on the balcony and chose to take a shuttle bus with the other cardinals back to the Vatican residence where they are staying, for an evening meal.

I pray for the new pope that he will be able to face the challenges our Church is undergoing. The Filipinos support you dear Pope Francis I.


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