Jorge Mario Bergoglio Named As New Pope, Francis
Jorge Mario Bergoglio has been named the 266th pope of the Roman Catholic church. After two days of voting, Bergoglio, who was the Archbishop of Argentina and is the first non-European to hold the papacy in more than 1000 years, was selected to succeed Pope Benedict XVI, who stepped down from his post after eight years.
“As you know, the duty of the conclave was to appoint a bishop of Rome,” Bergoglio, 76, told the crowd in St. Peter's Square after the announcement. “It seems to me that my brother cardinals have chosen one who is from faraway.” He later added, “Here I am. I would like to thank you for your embrace.”
The cardinals went through five rounds of voting before they selected Bergoglio. “We spoke among ourselves in an exceptional and free way, with great truth, about the lights, but also about shadows in the current situation of the Catholic Church,” Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna said, according to The New York Times.
Bergoglio's predeccesor, Pope Benedict XVI, had a somewhat rocky papacy that was marred by sex scandals and a dearth of priests. For his part, Bergoglio is very conservative and has opposed gay marriage and giving out contraceptives for free, CNN reports. He will take the name Francis in honor of St. Francis of Assisi.—Hal Sundt