Jorge Mario Bergoglio SJ

And our new Pope is a Jesuit! Argentinian Jorge Mario Bergoglio SJ, the first Latin American and the first Jesuit to be pontiff, will call himself Francesco. Pope Francesco turned straight to God, and asked for mutual prayer so that he will walk with together with the people of God in this pilgrimage of evangelisation.

A Pope who leads us straight to prayer and took on the name of Francesco. His emphasis on evangelisation leads us in the footsteps of Jesuit St Francesco Xavier, one of the founding fathers of the Society of Jesus, remembered for his tireless missionary work on distant shores.

Here we reproduce a feature by The Guardian:

Jorge Mario Bergoglio: the humble pope with practical approach to poverty
Archbishop of Buenos Aires swapped grand residence for small apartment and used public transport

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who has become the Catholic church's 266th pope, is the choice of humility, 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.

Something of a surprise choice – he was quoted as a 30/1 outsider going into the conclave – the archbishop of Buenos Aires was one of the leading challengers to Joseph Ratzinger during the 2005 conclave that elected the latter as Benedict XVI.

A champion of liberation theology which some thought might have been too much for conservatives in the Vatican, he nonetheless is considered a candidate that everyone in the higher echelons of the church respects. He becomes the church's first Latin American pope.

Much is made of his humility: he gave up the grandiose setting of the cardinal's residence in the Argentine capital for the trappings of a small apartment, and rejected the notion of a chauffeur driven car for public transport.

Bergoglio, who will take the name Francis as pope, was born in December 1936, one of five children of an Italian railway worker. He taught literature and psychology in Argentina before being ordained in 1969. He was created a cardinal by John Paul II on 21 February 2001.

Unlike other cardinals, he has been untarnished by the various scandals rocking the Catholic church, and is thought to want to make reform of the Curia a priority. 


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