Roman Catholic Church elects new pope, Francis I
Published: Monday, March 18, 2013
Updated: Monday, April 22, 2013 21:04
On Wednesday, the Catholic Church chose its 266th pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Bergoglio selected the name Francis, becoming Pope Francis I.
An Argentinian, Francis is the first pope to come from the Americas. He is also the first Jesuit to become pope. He was the runner-up in the 2005 conclave which saw Joseph Ratzinger elected. Ratzinger, or Pope Benedict XVI, resigned in February, citing failing health.
The 76-year-old Francis is known for humility and concern for the poor and troubled. He lived in a modest apartment in Argentina and utilized public, rather than private, transportation.
Like Benedict, Francis holds conservative views and opposes gay marriage and abortion, two hot-button issues.
In 2005, Francis was accused of consorting with the government of Argentina to kidnap two priests he considered rebellious and dangerous.
Experts say it seems very likely the church with Francis at the helm will continue on the conservative path set by Benedict. Francis is now the leader of more than 1 billion Catholics worldwide.