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Pope Francis

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Pope
Francis
Bishop of Rome
Franciscus in 2015.jpg
Pope Francis in 2015
Papacy began 13 March 2013
Predecessor Benedict XVI
Orders
Ordination 13 December 1969
by Ramón José Castellano
Consecration 27 June 1992
by Antonio Quarracino
Created Cardinal 21 February 2001
by John Paul II
Personal details
Birth name Jorge Mario Bergoglio
Born (1936-12-17) 17 December 1936 (age 80)
Flores, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Nationality Argentine (with Vatican citizenship)
Denomination Roman Catholic
Residence Apostolic Palace, Vatican City (de jure)
Domus Sanctae Marthae (de facto)
Parents Mario José Bergoglio and Regina María Sívori
Previous post Provincial superior of the Society of Jesus in Argentina (1973–1979)
Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires (1992–1997)
Titular Bishop of Auca (1992–1997)
Archbishop of Buenos Aires (1998–2013)
Cardinal-Priest of San Roberto Bellarmino (2001–2013)
Ordinary of the Ordinariate for the Faithful of the Eastern Rites in Argentina (1998–2013)
President of the Argentine Episcopal Conference (2005–2011)
Motto Miserando atque eligendo[a]
Signature Francis's signature
Coat of arms Francis's coat of arms
Papal styles of
Francis
Insigne Francisci.svg
Reference style His Holiness
Spoken style Your Holiness
Religious style Holy Father

Pope Francis (Latin: Franciscus; Italian: Francesco; Spanish: Francisco; born Jorge Mario Bergoglio;[b] 17 December 1936) is the 266th and current Pope of the Catholic Church, a title he holds ex officio as Bishop of Rome, and sovereign of Vatican City. He chose Francis as his papal name in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi. Francis is the first Jesuit pope, the first from the Americas, the first from the Southern Hemisphere, and the first pope from outside Europe since the Syrian Gregory III, who reigned in the 8th century.

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Bergoglio worked briefly as a chemical technologist and nightclub bouncer before beginning seminary studies. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1969, and from 1973 to 1979 was Argentina's provincial superior of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). He became the Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998 and was created a cardinal in 2001 by Pope John Paul II. He led the Argentine Church during the December 2001 riots in Argentina, and the administrations of Néstor Kirchner and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner considered him a political rival. Following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on 28 February 2013, a papal conclave elected Bergoglio as his successor on 13 March.

Throughout his public life, Pope Francis has been noted for his humility, emphasis on God's mercy, concern for the poor and commitment to interfaith dialogue. He is credited with having a less formal approach to the papacy than his predecessors, for instance choosing to reside in the Domus Sanctae Marthae guesthouse rather than in the papal apartments of the Apostolic Palace used by his predecessors. In addition, due to both his Jesuit and Ignatian aesthetic, he is known for favoring simpler vestments void of ornamentation, including refusing the traditional papal mozzetta cape upon his election, choosing silver instead of gold for his piscatory ring, and keeping the same pectoral cross he had as cardinal. He maintains that the Church should be more open and welcoming. He does not support unbridled capitalism, Marxism, or Marxist versions of liberation theology. Francis maintains the traditional views of the Church regarding abortion, marriage, ordination of women, and clerical celibacy. He opposes consumerism, irresponsible development, and supports taking action on climate change, a focus of his papacy with the promulgation of Laudato si'. In international diplomacy, he helped to restore full diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba. Since the publication of Amoris Laetitia in 2016, Francis has faced increasingly open criticism from theological conservatives, particularly on the question of admitting civilly divorced and remarried Catholics to Communion.

Contents

Early years

Jorge Mario Bergoglio (fourth boy from the left on the third row from the top) at age 12, while studying at the Salesian College

Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born on 17 December 1936[2] in Flores,[3] a neighborhood of Buenos Aires.[2] He was the eldest[4] of five children of Mario José Bergoglio (1908–1959) and Regina María Sívori (1911–1981). Mario Bergoglio was an Italian immigrant accountant[5] born in Portacomaro (Province of Asti) in Italy's Piedmont region. Regina Sívori[6] was a housewife born in Buenos Aires to a family of northern Italian (Piedmontese-Genoese) origin.[7][8][9] Mario José's family left Italy in 1929 to escape the fascist rule of Benito Mussolini.[10] According to María Elena Bergoglio, the Pope's only living sibling, they did not emigrate for economic reasons.[11] His other siblings were Alberto Horacio, Oscar Adrián and Marta Regina.[12] Two great-nephews, Antonio and Joseph, died in a traffic collision.[13][14]

In the sixth grade, Bergoglio attended Wilfrid Barón de los Santos Ángeles, a school of the Salesians of Don Bosco, in Ramos Mejía, Buenos Aires. He attended the technical secondary school Escuela Técnica Industrial N° 27 Hipólito Yrigoyen,[15] named after a past President of Argentina, and graduated with a chemical technician's diploma.[2][16][17] He worked for a few years in that capacity in the foods section at Hickethier-Bachmann Laboratory[18] where his boss was Esther Ballestrino. Before joining the Jesuits, Bergoglio worked as a bar bouncer and as a janitor sweeping floors, and he also ran tests in a chemical laboratory.[19][20]

In the only known health crisis of his youth, at the age of 21 he suffered from life-threatening pneumonia and three cysts. He had part of a lung excised shortly afterwards.[15][21] Bergoglio has been a lifelong supporter of San Lorenzo de Almagro football club.[22] Bergoglio is also a fan of the films of Tita Merello,[23] neorealism, and tango dancing, with an "intense fondness"[clarification needed] for the traditional music of Argentina and Uruguay known as the milonga.[23]

Jesuit (1958–2013)

Ordination history of
Pope Francis
History
Priestly ordination
Ordained by Ramón José Castellano (Córdoba emer)
Date of ordination 13 December 1969
Episcopal consecration
Principal consecrator Antonio Card Quarracino (Buenos Aires)[24]
Co-consecrators Ubaldo Calabresi (Argentina AN)
Emilio Ogñénovich (Mercedes-Luján)
Date of consecration 27 June 1992
Place of consecration Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral
Cardinalate
Elevated by John Paul II
Date of elevation 21 February 2001
Episcopal succession
Bishops consecrated by Pope Francis as principal consecrator
Horacio Ernesto Benites Astoul 1 May 1999
Jorge Rubén Lugones 30 July 1999
Jorge Eduardo Lozano 25 March 2000
Joaquín Mariano Sucunza 21 October 2000
José Antonio Gentico 28 April 2001
Fernando Carlos Maletti 18 September 2001
Andrés Stanovnik 16 December 2001
Mario Aurelio Poli 20 April 2002
Eduardo Horacio García 16 August 2003
Adolfo Armando Uriona 8 May 2004
Eduardo Maria Taussig 25 September 2004
Raúl Martín 20 May 2006
Hugo Manuel Salaberry Goyeneche 21 August 2006
Óscar Vicente Ojea Quintana 2 September 2006
Hugo Nicolás Barbaro 4 July 2008
Enrique Eguía Seguí 11 October 2008
Ariel Edgardo Torrado Mosconi 13 December 2008
Luis Alberto Fernández 27 March 2009
Vicente Bokalic Iglic 29 May 2010
Alfredo Horacio Zecca 17 September 2011
Jean-Marie Speich 24 October 2013
Giampiero Gloder 24 October 2013
Fernando Vérgez Alzaga 15 November 2013
Fabio Fabene 30 May 2014
Angelo de Donatis 9 November 2015
Peter Bryan Wells 19 March 2016
Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot 19 March 2016


Bergoglio found his vocation to the priesthood while he was on his way to celebrate the Spring Day. He passed by a church to go to confession, and was inspired by the priest.[25] Bergoglio studied at the archdiocesan seminary, Inmaculada Concepción Seminary, in Villa Devoto, Buenos Aires, and, after three years, entered the Society of Jesus as a novice on 11 March 1958.[23] Bergoglio has said that, as a young seminarian, he had a crush on a girl he met and briefly doubted about continuing the religious career.[26] As a Jesuit novice he studied humanities in Santiago, Chile.[27] At the conclusion of his novitiate in the Society of Jesus, Bergoglio officially became a Jesuit on 12 March 1960, when he made the religious profession of the initial, perpetual vows of poverty, chastity and obedience of a member of the order.[28][29]

In 1960, Bergoglio obtained a licentiate in philosophy from the Colegio Máximo de San José in San Miguel, Buenos Aires Province. He taught literature and psychology at the Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepción, a high school in Santa Fe, from 1964 to 1965. In 1966 he taught the same courses at the Colegio del Salvador in Buenos Aires.[2][30]

Presbyterate (1969-1992)

In 1967, Bergoglio finished his theological studies and was ordained to the priesthood on 13 December 1969, by Archbishop Ramón José Castellano. He attended the Facultades de Filosofía y Teología de San Miguel (Philosophical and Theological Faculty of San Miguel), a seminary in San Miguel. He served as the master of novices for the province there and became a professor of theology.[31]

Bergoglio completed his final stage of spiritual training as a Jesuit, tertianship, at Alcalá de Henares, Spain. He took the final fourth vow (obedience to the pope) in the Society of Jesus on 22 April 1973.[29] He was named provincial superior of the Society of Jesus in Argentina on 31 July 1973 and served until 1979.[2][32] He made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 1973, shortly after being named provincial superior, but his stay was shortened by the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War.[33] After the completion of his term of office, in 1980 he was named the rector of the Philosophical and Theological Faculty of San Miguel in San Miguel.[34] Before taking up this new appointment, he spent the first three months of 1980 in Ireland to learn English, staying at the Jesuit Centre at the Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy, Dublin.[35] After returning to Argentina to take up his new post at San Miguel, Father Bergoglio served in that capacity until 1986.[2] He was removed as rector by the Jesuit superior-general Peter Hans Kolvenbach because Bergoglio's policy of educating the young Jesuits in direct pastoral work and in popular religiosity was opposed to the worldwide trend in the Society of Jesus of emphasizing social justice based on sociological analysis, especially promoted by the Centro de Investigaciones y Accion Social (CIAS).[36]

He spent several months at the Sankt Georgen Graduate School of Philosophy and Theology in Frankfurt, Germany, while considering possible dissertation topics,[37] before returning to Argentina to serve as a confessor and spiritual director to the Jesuit community in Córdoba.[38] In Germany, he saw the painting Mary Untier of Knots in Augsburg and brought a copy of the painting to Argentina where it has become an important Marian devotion.[39][c] As a student at the Salesian school, Bergoglio was mentored by Ukrainian Greek Catholic priest Stefan Czmil. Bergoglio often rose hours before his classmates to serve Mass for Czmil.[42][43]

Bergoglio was asked in 1992 by Jesuit authorities not to reside in Jesuit houses, because of continued tensions with Jesuit leaders and scholars, a sense of Bergoglio's "dissent", views of his Catholic orthodoxy and his opposition to theology of liberation, and his work as auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires.[44][45][46] From then on, he did not visit Jesuit houses and was in "virtual estrangement from the Jesuits" until after his election as Pope.[36][44]

Pre-papal Episcopate (1992–2013)

Bergoglio was named Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires in 1992 and ordained on 27 June 1992 as Titular Bishop of Auca,[2][47] with Cardinal Antonio Quarracino, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, serving as principal consecrator.[24] He chose as his episcopal motto Miserando atque eligendo.[48] It is drawn from Saint Bede's homily on Matthew 9:9–13: "because he saw him through the eyes of mercy and chose him".[49]

On 3 June 1997, Bergoglio was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Buenos Aires with right of automatic succession. Upon Quarracino's death on 28 February 1998, Bergoglio became Metropolitan Archbishop of Buenos Aires. In that role, Bergoglio created new parishes and restructured the archdiocese administrative offices, led pro-life initiatives, and created a commission on divorces.[2][50] One of Bergoglio's major initiatives as archbishop was to increase the Church's presence in the slums of Buenos Aires. Under his leadership, the number of priests assigned to work in the slums doubled.[51] This work led to him being called the "Slum Bishop".[52]

Early in his time as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Bergoglio sold off the archdiocese's shares in multiple banks and turned its accounts into those of a normal customer in international banks. The shares in banks had led the local church to a high leniency towards high spending, and the archdiocese was nearing bankruptcy as a result. As a normal customer of the bank, the church was forced into a higher fiscal discipline.[53]

On 6 November 1998, while remaining Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he was named ordinary for those Eastern Catholics in Argentina who lacked a prelate of their own rite.[24] Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk has said that Bergoglio understands the liturgy, rites, and spirituality of his Greek Catholic Church and always "took care of our Church in Argentina" as ordinary for Eastern Catholics during his time as Archbishop of Buenos Aires.[43]

In 2000, Bergoglio was the only church official to reconcile with Jerónimo Podestá, a former bishop who had been suspended as a priest after opposing the Argentine Revolution military dictatorship in 1972. He defended Podestá's wife from Vatican attacks on their marriage.[54][55][56] That same year, Bergoglio said the Argentine Catholic Church needed "to put on garments of public penance for the sins committed during the years of the dictatorship" in the 1970s, during the Dirty War.[57]

Bergoglio made it his custom to celebrate the Holy Thursday ritual washing of feet in places such as jails, hospitals, retirement homes or slums.[58] In 2007, just two days after Benedict XVI issued new rules for using the liturgical forms that preceded the Second Vatican Council, Cardinal Bergoglio was one of the first bishops in the world to respond by instituting a Tridentine Mass in Buenos Aires.[59][60] It was celebrated weekly.[61]

On 8 November 2005, Bergoglio was elected president of the Argentine Episcopal Conference for a three-year term (2005–08).[62] He was reelected to another three-year term on 11 November 2008.[63] He remained a member of that commission's permanent governing body, president of its committee for the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina, and a member of its liturgy committee for the care of shrines.[24] While head of the Argentine Catholic bishops' conference, Bergoglio issued a collective apology for his church's failure to protect people from the Junta during the Dirty War.[64] When he turned 75 in December 2011, Bergoglio submitted his resignation as Archbishop of Buenos Aires to Pope Benedict XVI as required by canon law.[33] Still, as he had no coadjutor archbishop, he stayed in office, waiting for an eventual replacement appointed by the Vatican.[65]

Cardinalate (2001–2013)

Bergoglio on 18 June 2008 giving a catechesis

At the consistory of 21 February 2001, Archbishop Bergoglio was created a cardinal by Pope John Paul II with the title of cardinal-priest of San Roberto Bellarmino, a church served by Jesuits and named for one; he was formally installed in that church the following 14 October. When he traveled to Rome for the ceremony, he and his sister María Elena visited the village in northern Italy where their father was born.[11] As cardinal, Bergoglio was appointed to five administrative positions in the Roman Curia. He was a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Congregation for the Clergy, the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, the Pontifical Council for the Family and the Commission for Latin America. Later that year, when Cardinal Edward Egan returned to New York following the September 11 attacks, Bergoglio replaced him as relator (recording secretary) in the Synod of Bishops,[66] and, according to the Catholic Herald, created "a favourable impression as a man open to communion and dialogue".[67][68]

Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio in 2008

Cardinal Bergoglio became known for personal humility, doctrinal conservatism, and a commitment to social justice.[69] A simple lifestyle contributed to his reputation for humility. He lived in a small apartment, rather than in the elegant bishop's residence in the suburb of Olivos. He took public transportation and cooked his own meals.[70] He limited his time in Rome to "lightning visits".[71] He was known to be devoted to St. Therese of Lisieux, and he enclosed a small picture of her in the letters he wrote, calling her "a great missionary saint".[72]

After Pope John Paul II died on 2 April 2005, Bergoglio attended his funeral and was considered one of the papabile for succession to the papacy.[73] He participated as a cardinal elector in the 2005 papal conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI. In the