Pope Francis, The 266th Pope Of The Holy Roman Church
Francis (born Jorge Mario Bergoglio on 17 December 1936) is the 266thand current pope of the Catholic Church, elected on 13 March 2013...
Francis is the first Jesuit and the first from the Americas to be elected Pope. He is the first non-European pope since Syrian-born Pope Gregory III, who served for ten years (731–741).
Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, one of the five children of Italian immigrants Mario Jose Bergoglio, a railway worker, and Regina Maria Sivori, 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.
Bergoglio 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.Bishop
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.
Positions on moral and political issues
Abortion, euthanasia, and contraception
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.
He also presented the 2007 "Aparecida Document" in Buenos Aires following its Papal approval, a Latin American document which among many points, linked doctrinal compliance on abortion, to worthiness to receive Holy Communion, describing abortion as a "death sentence"
Bergoglio has affirmed church teaching on homosexuality, including that "men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies must be accepted with respect and compassion."He opposes same-sex marriage, and strongly, but ultimately unsuccessfully, opposed legislation introduced in 2010 by the Argentine Government to allow same-sex marriage, calling it a "real and dire anthropological throwback." In a letter to the monasteries of Buenos Aires, he wrote:
"Let's not be naïve, we're not talking about a simple political battle; it is a destructive pretension against the plan of God. We are not talking about a mere bill, but rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God."
"Father of Lies" is a reference to the Devil from John 8:44.Bergoglio has also stated that adoption by same-sex couples is a form of discrimination against children.
Poverty and economic inequality
On 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" where 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".
Abuse of the vulnerable
In his 2007 presentation, Bergoglio denounced in strong terms, what he characterized as a cultural tolerance of child abuse and "discarding of the elderly".
Worthiness to receive the Eucharist and doctrinal compliance
In 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. Among many points, the document links worthiness to receive the Eucharist, to compliance and acceptance of Church teaching against the "abominable crimes" of 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."
Statements made during his presentation which referred to a topical Argentinian abortion case were opposed by that country's government, who stated that "the diagnosis of the Church in relation to social problems in Argentina is correct, but to mix that with abortion and euthanasia, is at least a clear example of ideological malfeasance.