Cardinal Bergoglio has chosen the name “Francesco I,” or Francis I.
76-year-old Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina, has been selected to be the new spiritual leader for the 1.2 billion Roman Catholics worldwide. According to NPR, the selection of Bergoglio as the new head of the Roman Catholic Church “after 5 votes by the 115 cardinals eligible to cast ballots.” It takes a two-thirds majority vote to become pope.
Bergoglio was also a candidate for the papacy during the 2005 conclave, when Pope Benedict XVI was selected, and at that time NPR released this profile on the Argentinian Cardinal,
Trained as a chemist … became a priest when he was 32 and an archbishop in 1998. Bergoglio is a Jesuit, which would make him an unusual and perhaps controversial choice for the papacy. His academic credentials abound: He pursued theological studies in Germany, has published three books and has served as grand chancellor of The Catholic University in Argentina. Bergoglio has been praised as being a “good pastor” with a “strong capacity for governance with unusual gifts of humility.” Indeed, the [then] archbishop shuns a chauffeur-driven limousine, in favor of public transportation.
According to the Associated Press, Bergoglio is the first pope ever to be selected from the America’s, and is also the “first from outside Europe in more than a millennium.” NPR’s Sylvia Poggioli points out that the new pope and the Catholic Church face an important choice, and that is, “Whether to continue an inward looking conservative path or to open up to the broader world of the faithful and introduce more collegiality, as had been indicated by the reforms of the Second Vatican Council 50 years ago.”
Photo: AP/Gregorio Borgia