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Thursday, March 14, 2013

9 Facts About The New Pope


Jose Mario Bergoglio was named Pope Francis on Wednesday. The 76-year-old was a surprise choice as many observers expected the College of Cardinals to choose a younger man after the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. Here are 10 things you should know about the Argentine:
                             
1. He has only one lung. The other was removed after an infection when he was a teenager.
2. In the 2005 papal election, he was the runner-up, receiving 40 votes on the third ballot and losing to now-Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
3. As the archbishop of Buenos Aires, Bergoglio gave up his chauffeured limousine, opting to ride the bus to work instead.
4. He unsuccessfully fought Argentina’s legalization of gay marriage in 2010, calling it “a scheme to destroy God’s plan.”
5. In 2005, shortly before the conclave, an Argentinian lawyer filed a complaint, accusing Bergoglio of working with Argentina’s military dictatorship to kidnap two liberal priests in 1976. Bergoglio denied the charge.
6. Last September, he delivered a harsh attack on priests in Argentina who refused to baptize children born out of wedlock, calling them “hypocritical.”
7. He has won praise for showing compassion toward victims of HIV and AIDS. In 2012, Bergoglio visited a hospice, where he kissed and washed the feet of 12 victims.
8. Born and raised in Buenos Aires, his parents were Italian immigrants.
9. Argentine President Cristina Kirchner rebuked him after he argued that adoption by gay and lesbian couples was a form of discrimination against children. Kirchner said Bergoglio’s tone was reminiscent of “medieval times and the Inquisition.”

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