Thursday, March 14, 2013

Habemus Papam

    Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ is an Argentine Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. A native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, he was ordained  a priest in 1969. In 1998 he became the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, and in 2001 a Cardinal. Following the resignation of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, on 28th February 2013, the Conclave elected Bergoglio, who chose the Papal name Francis in honour of Saint Francis of Assisi. He is both the first Jesuit pope and the first pope from the Americas. He is also the first Pope from outside Europe since Gregory III in the 8th century. Francis is fluent in Spanish, Latin, Italian, German, French, and English.

    Bergoglio entered the Society of Jesus on 11th  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 13th 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 province. Bergoglio attained the position of novice master there and became a 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 worked on a doctoral dissertation at Sankt Georgen in Germany for some months and returned to Argentina to serve as confessor and spiritual director in Córdoba.

    At the Consistory of 21st February 2001, Archbishop Bergoglio was created a Cardinal by Blessed Pope John Paul II with the title of Cardinal-priest of San Roberto Bellarmino. As Cardinal, Bergoglio was appointed to five 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.
    Cardinal Bergoglio became known for personal humility, doctrinal conservatism and a commitment to social justice. A simple lifestyle contributed to his reputation for humility. He lived in a small apartment, rather than in the palatial Bishop's residence. He gave up his chauffeured Limousine in favour of public transportation.

    Bergoglio was elected Pope on 13th March 2013, the second day of the 2013 Papal Conclave, taking the Papal name Francis.