b. December 17, 1936
By The Associated Press
AP / March 13, 2013
Pope Francis — the first Jesuit pope — has spent nearly his entire career at home in Argentina.
The former Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, reportedly got the second-most votes after Joseph Ratzinger, the last pope, in the 2005 papal election. He has long specialized in the kind of pastoral work — overseeing churches and priests — that some say is an essential skill for a pope.
In a lifetime of teaching and leading priests in Latin America, which has the largest share of the world’s Catholics, the former Bergoglio has shown a keen political sensibility as well as a self-effacing humility, according to his official biographer, Sergio Rubin. His personal style is the antithesis of Vatican splendor.
Bergoglio is also known for modernizing an Argentine church that had been among the most conservative in Latin America. __ Michael Warren.
Bergoglio was elected pope on 13 March 2013 at 7:06 p.m, the second day of the 2013 Papal conclave, taking the papal name Francis.
Bergoglio is the first Jesuit priest chosen to be pope. He is also the first pope from the Americas and the first one from the Southern Hemisphere. Indeed, he is the first non-European pope in over 1,200 years. The last non-European pope, St. Gregory III, was born in Syria and reigned from 731 to 741. Francis is also the first pope since Pope John Paul I to take a previously unused papal name.
A native of Buenos Aires, Bergoglio was ordained as a priest in 1969. From 1998 until 2013, he served as the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, and Pope John Paul II made him a cardinal in 2001. Elected as pope in 2013 following his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI's resignation, Bergoglio chose "Francis" as his name. This marked the first time in papal history that this name had been used, and along with Pope John Paul I is one of only two times since Pope Lando's brief 913 reign that a serving pope held a name unused by a predecessor. Francis is both the first Jesuit priest and the first native of the Americas to be elected Pope. He is also the first non-European pope since Syrian-born Pope Gregory III, who died in 741.
Early lifeJorge Mario Bergoglio was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, one of the five children of Italian immigrants Mario José Bergoglio, a railway worker, and his wife, Regina María Sívori, a housewife. As a teenager Bergoglio had a lung removed as a result of an infection. He studied and received a master's degree in chemistry at the University of Buenos Aires before he decided to pursue an ecclesiastical career. According to another reference, he graduated from a technical school as a chemical technician, and at the age of 21 decided to become a priest.
JesuitBergoglio entered the Society of Jesus on 11 March 1958 and studied to become a priest at the Jesuit seminary in Villa Devoto. In 1960 Bergoglio obtained a licentiate in philosophy from the Colegio Máximo San José in San Miguel; in 1964 and 1965 he taught literature and psychology at the Colegio de la Inmaculada, a high school in the province of Santa Fe, Argentina, and in 1966 he taught the same courses at the Colegio del Salvador in Buenos Aires.
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, Buenos Aires. Bergoglio attained the position of novice master there and became professor of theology.
The Society of Jesus promoted Bergoglio and he served as provincial for Argentina from 1973 to 1979. He was transferred in 1980 to become the rector of the seminary in San Miguel, and served in that capacity until 1986. He returned to Argentina to serve as confessor and spiritual director in Córdoba.
Bergoglio was named Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires in 1992 and was ordained on 27 June 1992 as Titular Bishop of Auca, with His Eminence, Antonio Cardinal Quarracino, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, serving as principal consecrator.
Bergoglio succeeded Cardinal Quarracino as Archbishop of Buenos Aires on 28 February 1998 and was concurrently named ordinary for Eastern Catholics in Argentina, who had lacked their own prelate.
CardinalAt 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. As cardinal, Bergoglio was appointed to several administrative positions in the Roman Curia:
- Member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
- Member of the Congregation for the Clergy
- Member of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life
- Member of the Pontifical Council for the Family
- Member of the Commission for Latin America
On the death of Pope John Paul II, Bergoglio was considered one of the papabile cardinals. He participated as a cardinal elector in the 2005 papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI. La Stampa reported that Bergoglio was in close contention with Ratzinger during the election, until he made an emotional plea that the cardinals should not vote for him. Earlier, he had participated in the funeral of Pope John Paul II and acted as a regent alongside the College of Cardinals, governing the Holy See and the Roman Catholic Church during the interregnum sede vacante period.
During the 2005 Synod of Bishops, he was elected a member of the Post-Synodal council. Catholic journalist John L. Allen, Jr. reported that Bergoglio was a frontrunner in the 2005 Conclave. An unauthorized diary of uncertain authenticity released in September 2005 confirmed that Bergoglio was the runner-up and main challenger of Cardinal Ratzinger at that conclave. The purported diary of the anonymous cardinal claimed Bergoglio received 40 votes in the third ballot, but fell back to 26 at the fourth and decisive ballot .
On 8 November 2005, Bergoglio was elected President of the Argentine Episcopal Conference for a three-year term (2005–2008) by a large majority of the Argentine bishops, which according to reports confirms his local leadership and the international prestige earned by his alleged performance in the conclave. He was reelected on 11 November 2008.
As a cardinal, Bergoglio was associated with Communion and Liberation, a conservative Catholic association of the faithful.
Relations with the Argentine government
On 15 April 2005, a human rights lawyer filed a criminal complaint against Bergoglio, as superior in the Society of Jesus of Argentina, accusing him of involvement in the kidnapping by the Navy in May 1976 (during the Dirty War) of two Jesuit priests. The priests, Orlando Yorio and Franz Jalics, were found alive five months later, drugged and semi-naked. Yorio accused Bergoglio of effectively handing them over to the death squads by declining to tell the regime that he endorsed their work. Jalics refused to discuss it after moving into seclusion in a German monastery.
Horacio Verbitsky, an Argentine investigative journalist and former montonero, wrote a book about this and other related events titled El Silencio: de Paulo VI a Bergoglio: las relaciones secretas de la Iglesia con la ESMA. Verbitsky also writes that the Argentine Navy with the help of Cardinal Bergoglio hid the dictatorship's political prisoners in Bergoglio's holiday home from a visiting delegation of the Inter-American Human Rights Commission.
According to the book, after their release, Yorio accused the then-Provincial of his Jesuit order San Miguel, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, to have denounced him. Father General Pedro Arrupe in Rome was informed by letter or during the abduction, both he and Orlando Yorio were excluded from the Jesuit Order.
Bergoglio told his authorized biographer, Sergio Rubin, that after the priests' imprisonment, he worked behind the scenes for their release; Bergoglio's intercession with dictator Jorge Rafael Videla on their behalf may have saved their lives. "The cardinal could not justify why these two priests were in a state of helplessness and exposed," according to Luis Zamora, who said that Bergoglio's testimony "demonstrates the role of the Church during the last military dictatorship."
In 2010, Bergoglio told Sergio Rubin that he often sheltered people from the dictatorship on church property, and on one occasion gave his identity papers to a man who looked like him, to enable the recipient to flee Argentina.
Bergoglio stated that adoption by same-sex couples is a form of discrimination against children. This position received a rebuke from Argentine president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who said the church's tone was reminiscent of "medieval times and the Inquisition."
PapacyBergoglio was elected pope on 13 March 2013, the second day of the 2013 papal conclave, taking the papal name Francis. Vatican deputy spokesman Thomas Rosica said the same day that the new pontiff had chosen the name in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi, and had done so because the new pontiff was a lover of the poor. Cardinal Dolan, a first-person witness and participant in the proceedings of the Conclave, confirmed that, immediately after the selection was announced, the new Pope said, "I choose the name Francis, in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi." Some of those not initially aware of the statement made by the new Pope in the Conclave mistakenly believed that, as a Jesuit, he chose Francis in recognition of Francis Xavier.
On the day of his election, the Vatican clarified that his official papal name was Francis, not "Francis I." A Vatican spokesman said that the name would become Francis I if and when there is a Francis II.
Bergoglio is the first Jesuit priest chosen to be pope. He is also the first pope from the Americas, the New World, and the Southern Hemisphere. He is the first non-European pope in 1,272 years. The last non-European pope, St. Gregory III, was born in Syria and reigned from 731 to 741.
At the time of his election, Francis was fluent in Spanish (his mother tongue), Latin, Italian, and German.
As noted earlier, Cardinal Bergoglio's strong popularity amongst the other cardinals had been brought to notice once before in the 2005 Conclave in which Pope Benedict XVI was elected, and in which Cardinal Bergoglio had received the second largest share of votes after Cardinal Ratzinger 
Positions on moral and political issues
Poverty and economic inequalityOn 30 September 2009, Bergoglio spoke at a conference organized by the Argentina City Postgraduate School (EPOCA) at the Alvear Palace Hotel titled "Las deudas sociales de nuestro tiempo" ("The Social Debts of Our Time") in which he quoted the 1992 "Documento de Santo Domingo" by the Latin American Episcopal Conference, saying "extreme poverty and unjust economic structures that cause great inequalities" are violations of human rights. He went on to describe social debt as "immoral, unjust and illegitimate".
During a 48-hour public servant strike in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Bergoglio observed the differences between "poor people who are persecuted for demanding work, and rich people who are applauded for fleeing from justice." During a May 2010 speech in Argentina regarding the poor, he directed his message to the wealthy by saying: "You 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".
Aparecida DocumentIn 2007, as Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Bergoglio presented the final version of a joint statement of the bishops of Latin America – the "Aparecida Document" – upon its approval by Pope Benedict XVI, denouncing what he characterized as a cultural tolerance of child abuse and "discarding of the elderly". He referred to the abuse of children as"demographic terrorism," and decried their exploitation. "Children are mistreated, and are not educated or fed. Many are made into prostitutes and exploited." He denounced a "culture of discarding" the elderly and treating them as if they are disposable and worthless due to their advanced age.
Bergoglio has encouraged his clergy and laity to oppose both abortion and euthanasia, describing the pro-choice movement as a "culture of death". Francis opposed the free distribution of contraceptives in Argentina. The document links worthiness to receive the Eucharist, to compliance and acceptance of Church teaching against "abominable crimes" such as abortion and euthanasia:
- "We hope that legislators, heads of government, and health professionals, conscious of the dignity of human life and of the rootedness of the family in our peoples, will defend and protect it from the abominable crimes of abortion and euthanasia; that is their responsibility ... We should commit ourselves to 'eucharistic coherence', that is, we should be conscious that people cannot receive Holy Communion and at the same time act or speak against the commandments, in particular when abortion, euthanasia, and other serious crimes against life and family are facilitated. This responsibility applies particularly to legislators, governors, and health professionals."