Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina, has been elected the new pope and will now be known as Pope Francis.Bergoglio, 76, was “runner-up” last time the College of Cardinals elected a pope because he “appealed to conservatives,” according to John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter.
Here’s more from Allen:
Bergoglio is seen an unwaveringly orthodox on matters of sexual morality, staunchly opposing abortion, same-sex marriage, and contraception. In 2010 he asserted that gay adoption is a form of discrimination against children.
In a letter to the monasteries of Buenos Aires about the bill, Bergoglio wrote: “Let’s not be naive, 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.”
He added that the bill called into question “the identity, and the survival of the family: father, mother, and children” and said the country needed “the special assistance of the Holy Spirit, to place the light of truth in the middle of the darkness of error, to defend us against the enchantment of so many sophistries with which they seek to justify this bill.”
Nevertheless, Allen notes that in 2001 Bergoglio “visited a hospice to kiss and wash the feet of 12 AIDS patients.”
Part of the draw of Bergoglio was his personal simplicity because he was a Prince of the Church “who chose to live in a simple apartment rather than the archbishop’s palace, who gave up his chauffeured limousine in favour of taking the bus to work, and who cooked his own meals,” Allen notes.
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