|Papacy Began: 13 March 2013|
|Papacy Ended: Currently in office
Predecessor: Pope Benedict XVI Successor: None
|Born: 17 December 1936, as Jorge Mario Bergoglio
Motto: Miserando atque eligendo
|Reference style: His Holiness
In person: Your Holiness
In religion: Holy Father
His Holiness Pope Francis (formerly Jorge Mario Bergoglio, born December 17, 1936, in Buenos Aires, Argentina) became the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church on March 13, 2013. Pope Francis, elected as 266th Roman Catholic pontiff, is the first Jesuit and the first Latin American pope; First non-European pope in 1300 years. He succeeded Pope Benedict XVI, to whom he was reportedly the runner-up in the papal election of 2005. Archbishop Bergoglio was created a cardinal by the late Pope John Paul II.
The son of an Italian workman who emigrated to Argentina, Cardinal Bergoglio chose to carry the name of an Italian saint, "Francis", while serving as Pope. And like his papal namesake, St. Francis, Cardinal Bergoglio has an ascetic and humble lifestyle.
Pope Francis has overcome a disability: as a young man, one of his lungs was removed due to illness.
The Pope is the spiritual leader of 1.2 billion people - almost 17% of the Earth's population and 55% of all Christians.
Vatican tradition holds that when a new Pope is elected and takes a name that has not been used by a prior pope, they will be referred to simply as "Pope ______", rather than "Pope ______ I" until another pope has taken the same name. In this case "Pope Francis".
Pope Francis has shown to be very affectionate toward the poor, the sick, and the needy. Rather than flout his position as the head of the Church, with the expectation of being acknowledged, he humbles himself when in the presence of those less-fortunate.
Political and Scientific Views
Conscientious objection to same-sex marriage
Evolution and Big Bang
Speaking at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Pope made comments which experts said put an end to the “pseudo theories” of creationism and intelligent design that some argue were encouraged by his predecessor, Benedict XVI.
Cardinal Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, has been an outspoken critic of homosexual adoption of children, explaining that it is discriminatory against the children. Pope Francis is also strongly pro-life, and has referred abortion as the "culture of death."
Among his teachings and stands, he strongly affirms church teaching on the intrinsic immorality of homosexual practices, though he teaches the importance of respecting homosexual persons. He strongly opposed legislation introduced in 2010 by the Argentine Government to give legal equivalency between true marriage and homosexual partners.
Church sexual abuse of children
Persecution and human rights
Pope Francis has spoken out against violence of minorities in the Middle-East, including that of Christians, and, contrary to the typical Catholic views, has endorsed the use of force, if necessary, to accomplish this goal.
His holiness remains an adamant supporter of Social Justice. His 2009 speech, titled Las deudas sociales de nuestro tiempo, or The Social Debts of our Time, lays out his views on the world's inequality, between rich and poor, especially in Argentina. He further rebuked the wealthy, claiming that "You [the wealthy] avoid taking into account the poor. We have no right to duck down, to lower the arms carried by those in despair. We must reclaim the memory of our country who has a mother, recover the memory of our Mother".
Palestine and Israel
- Reuters: Pope Succession
- Los Angeles Times: Pope Naming
- CNN: Pope Francis' name choice 'precedent shattering'
- Washington Post: Pope Francis saw a boy with cerebral palsy. This is what happened next
- NBC News: Conscientious objection is a human right, Pope Francis
- Time: What Pope Francis thought of the United States
- Independent: Evolution and Big Bang Theory are right, and God isn't a magician with a magic wand
- The American Conservative: Pope Francis and the Vatican's 'gay lobby', Giraldi, Philip (18 June 2013)
- Yahoo News, Australia: Children's rights, Pope Francis
- Catholic Online: NEW POPE: Who is this man named Bergoglio?
- USA Today: Hundreds of thousands flood Philly for Pope Francis' final Mass
- The Guardian: Isis violence against minorities in Iraq must be stopped, Pope Francis
- Business Insider: Pope Francis Endorses Use Of Force Against ISIS In Iraq
- New York Times: Vatican to recognize Palestinian State in new treaty