A new pope has been chosen by the college of cardinals at the Vatican following the abdication of the papal throne by Pope Benedict XVI (aka Cardinal Ratzinger), the first pope to do so in over 600 years (since Pope Gregory XII in 1415, and the first to do so on his own initiative since Pope Celestine V in 1294. ).
The new Pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, soon to be known as Pope Francis I (after Francis of Assisi) is the first non-european to be named Pope in the modern era. And also the first American (America here refers to the continents not the country) to be named Pope. His election makes him the 266th Pope at an age of 76 (born in December 17, 1936). Pope Francis (Jose Mario Bergoglio) was born in Buenos Aires , to an Italian railway worker. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1958, after studying at the seminary in Villa Devoto. He was ordained to priesthood on December 13, 1969, by Archbishop Ramón José Castellano. He was elevated to the position of the Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998. In 2001, he was made a cardinal.
As A cardinal, Pope Francis was known for his humility, doctrinal conservatism and a commitment to social justice. His simple lifestyle has contributed to his reputation for humility, as he lives in a small apartment, rather than in the palatial bishop's residence. He gave up his chauffeured limousine in favor of public transportation, and he reportedly cooks his own meals.
Pope Francis was the runner up to Pope Benedict XVI during the Papal conclave (elections) of 2005.
Pope Francis has spoken up against gay marriage, opposing a bill in his country Argentina which sought to legalize same-sex marriages. Although he teaches that the rights of homosexuals as individuals need be respected. Pope Francis is also an outspoken opposition to abortion and euthanasia (mercy killing).

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