Leaders

Pope Francis

 

Pope Francis

Pope
Francis
Bishop of Rome
Franciscus in 2015.jpg

Pope Francis in 2015
Papacy began 13 March 2013
Predecessor Benedict XVI
Orders
Ordination 13 December 1969
by Ramón José Castellano
Consecration 27 June 1992
by Antonio Quarracino
Created Cardinal 21 February 2001
by John Paul II
Personal details
Birth name Jorge Mario Bergoglio
Born (1936-12-17) 17 December 1936 (age 80)
Flores, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Nationality Argentine (with Vatican citizenship)
Denomination Roman Catholic
Residence Apostolic Palace, Vatican City (de jure)
Domus Sanctae Marthae (de facto)
Parents Mario José Bergoglio and Regina María Sívori
Previous post Provincial superior of the Society of Jesus in Argentina (1973–1979)
Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires (1992–1997)
Titular Bishop of Auca (1992–1997)
Archbishop of Buenos Aires (1998–2013)
Cardinal-Priest of San Roberto Bellarmino (2001–2013)
Ordinary of the Ordinariate for the Faithful of the Eastern Rites in Argentina (1998–2013)
President of the Argentine Episcopal Conference (2005–2011)
Motto Miserando atque eligendo
Signature Francis's signature
Coat of arms Francis's coat of arms

Pope Francis (Latin: Franciscus; Italian: Francesco; Spanish: Francisco; Jorge Mario Bergoglio😉 is the 266th and current Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, a title he holds ex officio as Bishop of Rome, and sovereign of Vatican City. He chose Francis as his papal name in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi. Francis is the first Jesuit pope, the first from the Americas, the first from the Southern Hemisphere, the first to choose a name not used by a predecessor since Lando in 913 AD, and the first pope from outside Europe since the Syrian Gregory III, who reigned in the 8th century.

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Bergoglio worked briefly as a chemical technologist and nightclub bouncer before beginning seminary studies. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1969, and from 1973 to 1979 was Argentina’s provincial superior of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). He became the Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998 and was created a cardinal in 2001 by Pope John Paul II. He led the Argentine Church during the December 2001 riots in Argentina, and the administrations of Néstor Kirchner and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner considered him a political rival. Following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on 28 February 2013, a papal conclave elected Bergoglio as his successor on 13 March.

Throughout his public life, Pope Francis has been noted for his humility, emphasis on God’s mercy, concern for the poor and commitment to interfaith dialogue. He is credited with having a less formal approach to the papacy than his predecessors, for instance choosing to reside in the Domus Sanctae Marthae guesthouse rather than in the papal apartments of the Apostolic Palace used by his predecessors. In addition, due to both his Jesuit and Ignatian aesthetic, he is known for favoring simpler vestments void of ornamentation, including refusing the traditional papal mozzetta cape upon his election, choosing silver instead of gold for his piscatory ring, and keeping the same pectoral cross he had as cardinal. He maintains that the church should be more open and welcoming. He does not support unbridled capitalism, Marxism, or Marxist versions of liberation theology. Francis maintains the traditional views of the church regarding social teaching, ordination of women, and clerical celibacy. He opposes consumerism, irresponsible development, and supports taking action on climate change, a focus of his papacy with the promulgation of Laudato si’. In international diplomacy, he helped to restore full diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba.

Early years

Jorge Mario Bergoglio (fourth boy from the left on the third row from the top) at age 12, while studying at the Salesian College
Jorge Mario Bergoglio (fourth boy from the left on the third row from the top) at age 12, while studying at the Salesian College

 Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born on 17 December 1936 in Flores, a neighborhood of Buenos Aires. He was the eldest of five children of Mario José Bergoglio (1908–1959) and Regina María Sívori (1911–1981). Mario Bergoglio was an Italian immigrant accountant born in Portacomaro (Province of Asti) in Italy’s Piedmont region. Regina Sívori was a housewife born in Buenos Aires to a family of northern Italian (Piedmontese-Genoese) origin. Mario José’s family left Italy in 1929 to escape the fascist rule of Benito Mussolini. According to María Elena Bergoglio, the Pope’s only living sibling, they did not emigrate for economic reasons. His other siblings were Alberto Horacio, Oscar Adrián and Marta Regina. Two great-nephews, Antonio and Joseph, died in a traffic collision.

In the sixth grade, Bergoglio attended Wilfrid Barón de los Santos Ángeles, a school of the Salesians of Don Bosco, in Ramos Mejía, Buenos Aires. He attended the technical secondary school Escuela Técnica Industrial N° 27 Hipólito Yrigoyen, named after a past President of Argentina, and graduated with a chemical technician’s diploma. He worked for a few years in that capacity in the foods section at Hickethier-Bachmann Laboratory where his boss was Esther Ballestrino. Before joining the Jesuits, Bergoglio worked as a bar bouncer and as a janitor sweeping floors, and he also ran tests in a chemical laboratory.

In the only known health crisis of his youth, at the age of 21 he suffered from life-threatening pneumonia and three cysts. He had part of a lung excised shortly afterwards. Bergoglio has been a lifelong supporter of San Lorenzo de Almagro football club. Bergoglio is also a fan of the films of Tita Merello,neorealism, and tango dancing, with an “intense fondness” for the traditional music of Argentina and Uruguay known as the milonga.

Pre-papal presbytariate, 1958–2013

Ordination history of
Pope Francis
Information
 
Priestly ordination
Ordained by Ramón José Castellano (Córdoba emer)
Date of ordination 13 December 1969
Episcopal consecration
Principal consecrator Antonio Card Quarracino (Buenos Aires)[24]
Co-consecrators Ubaldo Calabresi (Argentina AN)
Emilio Ogñénovich (Mercedes-Luján)
Date of consecration 27 June 1992
Place of consecration Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral
Cardinalate
Elevated by John Paul II
Date of elevation 21 February 2001
Bishops consecrated by Pope Francis as principal consecrator
Horacio Ernesto Benites Astoul 1 May 1999
Jorge Rubén Lugones 30 July 1999
Jorge Eduardo Lozano 25 March 2000
Joaquín Mariano Sucunza 21 October 2000
José Antonio Gentico 28 April 2001
Fernando Carlos Maletti 18 September 2001
Andrés Stanovnik 16 December 2001
Mario Aurelio Poli 20 April 2002
Eduardo Horacio García 16 August 2003
Adolfo Armando Uriona 8 May 2004
Eduardo Maria Taussig 25 September 2004
Raúl Martín 20 May 2006
Hugo Manuel Salaberry Goyeneche 21 August 2006
Óscar Vicente Ojea Quintana 2 September 2006
Hugo Nicolás Barbaro 4 July 2008
Enrique Eguía Seguí 11 October 2008
Ariel Edgardo Torrado Mosconi 13 December 2008
Luis Alberto Fernández 27 March 2009
Vicente Bokalic Iglic 29 May 2010
Alfredo Horacio Zecca 17 September 2011
Jean-Marie Speich 24 October 2013
Giampiero Gloder 24 October 2013
Fernando Vérgez Alzaga 15 November 2013
Fabio Fabene 30 May 2014
Angelo de Donatis 9 November 2015
Peter Bryan Wells 19 March 2016
Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot 19 March 2016

Jesuit (1960–1992)

Bergoglio found his vocation to the priesthood while he was on his way to celebrate the Spring Day. He passed by a church to go to confession, and was inspired by the priest.Bergoglio studied at the archdiocesan seminary, Inmaculada Concepción Seminary, in Villa Devoto, Buenos Aires, and, after three years, entered the Society of Jesus as a novice on 11 March 1958 Bergoglio has said that, as a young seminarian, he had a crush on a girl he met and briefly doubted about continuing the religious career. As a Jesuit novice he studied humanities in Santiago, Chile. At the conclusion of his novitiate in the Society of Jesus, Bergoglio officially became a Jesuit on 12 March 1960, when he made the religious profession of the initial, perpetual vows of poverty, chastity and obedience of a member of the order.

In 1960, Bergoglio obtained a licentiate in philosophy from the Colegio Máximo de San José in San Miguel, Buenos Aires Province. He taught literature and psychology at the Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepción, a high school in Santa Fe, from 1964 to 1965. 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. He served as the master of novices for the province there and became a professor of theology.

Bergoglio completed his final stage of spiritual training as a Jesuit, tertianship, at Alcalá de Henares, Spain. He took the final fourth vow (obedience to the pope) in the Society of Jesus on 22 April 1973. He was named provincial superior of the Society of Jesus in Argentina on 31 July 1973 and served until 1979. He made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 1973, shortly after being named provincial superior, but his stay was shortened by the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War. After the completion of his term of office, in 1980 he was named the rector of the Philosophical and Theological Faculty of San Miguel in San Miguel. Before taking up this new appointment, he spent the first three months of 1980 in Ireland to learn English, staying at the Jesuit Centre at the Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy, Dublin. After returning to Argentina to take up his new post at San Miguel, Father Bergoglio served in that capacity until 1986. He was removed as rector by the Jesuit superior-general Peter Hans Kolvenbach because Bergoglio’s policy of educating the young Jesuits in direct pastoral work and in popular religiosity was opposed to the worldwide trend in the Society of Jesus of emphasizing social justice based on sociological analysis, especially promoted by the Centro de Investigaciones y Accion Social (CIAS).

He spent several months at the Sankt Georgen Graduate School of Philosophy and Theology in Frankfurt, Germany, while considering possible dissertation topics, before returning to Argentina to serve as a confessor and spiritual director to the Jesuit community in Córdoba. In Germany, he saw the painting Mary Untier of Knots in Augsburg and brought a copy of the painting to Argentina where it has become an important Marian devotion. As a student at the Salesian school, Bergoglio was mentored by Ukrainian Greek Catholic priest Stefan Czmil. Bergoglio often rose hours before his classmates to serve Mass for Czmil.

Bergoglio was asked in 1992 by Jesuit authorities not to reside in Jesuit houses, because of continued tensions with Jesuit leaders and scholars, a sense of Bergoglio’s “dissent”, views of his Catholic orthodoxy and his opposition to theology of liberation, and his work as auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires. From then on, he did not visit Jesuit houses and was in “virtual estrangement from the Jesuits” until after his election as Pope.

Episcopate (1992–2001)

Bergoglio was named Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires in 1992 and ordained on 27 June 1992 as Titular Bishop of Auca, with Cardinal Antonio Quarracino, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, serving as principal consecrator. He chose as his episcopal motto Miserando atque eligendo. It is drawn from Saint Bede’s homily on Matthew 9:9–13: “because he saw him through the eyes of mercy and chose him”.

On 3 June 1997, Bergoglio was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Buenos Aires with right of automatic succession. Upon Quarracino’s death on 28 February 1998, Bergoglio became Metropolitan Archbishop of Buenos Aires. In that role, Bergoglio created new parishes and restructured the archdiocese administrative offices, led pro-life initiatives, and created a commission on divorces. One of Bergoglio’s major initiatives as archbishop was to increase the Church’s presence in the slums of Buenos Aires. Under his leadership, the number of priests assigned to work in the slums doubled. This work led to him being called the “Slum Bishop”.

Early in his time as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Bergoglio sold off the archdiocese’s shares in multiple banks and turned its accounts into those of a normal customer in international banks. The shares in banks had led the local church to a high leniency towards high spending, and the archdiocese was nearing bankruptcy as a result. As a normal customer of the bank, the church was forced into a higher fiscal discipline.

On 6 November 1998, while remaining Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he was named ordinary for those Eastern Catholics in Argentina who lacked a prelate of their own rite Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk has said that Bergoglio understands the liturgy, rites, and spirituality of his Greek Catholic Church and always “took care of our Church in Argentina” as ordinary for Eastern Catholics during his time as Archbishop of Buenos Aires.

In 2000, Bergoglio was the only church official to reconcile with Jerónimo Podestá, a former bishop who had been suspended as a priest after opposing the Argentine Revolution military dictatorship in 1972. He defended Podestá’s wife from Vatican attacks on their marriage. That same year, Bergoglio said the Argentine Catholic Church needed “to put on garments of public penance for the sins committed during the years of the dictatorship” in the 1970s, during the Dirty War.PER01. Vatican City (Vatican City State (holy See)), 16/03/2013.- Pope Francis holds an audience at the Paul VI hall, in Vatican City, 16 March 2013. The Church should go back to its roots, shed its riches and concentrate on looking after the poor, Pope Francis said 16 March. 'Ah, how I would like a poor Church, for the poor,' Francis said in a meeting with the world's media, a traditional event for popes following their election.

Bergoglio made it his custom to celebrate the Holy Thursday ritual washing of feet in places such as jails, hospitals, retirement homes or slums. In 2007, just two days after Benedict XVI issued new rules for using the liturgical forms that preceded the Second Vatican Council, Cardinal Bergoglio was one of the first bishops in the world to respond by instituting a Tridentine Mass in Buenos Aires. It was celebrated weekly.

On 8 November 2005, Bergoglio was elected president of the Argentine Episcopal Conference for a three-year term (2005–08). He was reelected to another three-year term on 11 November 2008. He remained a member of that commission’s permanent governing body, president of its committee for the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina, and a member of its liturgy committee for the care of shrines. While head of the Argentine Catholic bishops’ conference, Bergoglio issued a collective apology for his church’s failure to protect people from the Junta during the Dirty War. When he turned 75 in December 2011, Bergoglio submitted his resignation as Archbishop of Buenos Aires to Pope Benedict XVI as required by canon law. Still, as he had no coadjutor archbishop, he stayed in office, waiting for an eventual replacement appointed by the Vatican.

Cardinalate (2001–2013)

Bergoglio on 18 June 2008 giving a catechesis
Bergoglio on 18 June 2008 giving a catechesis

At the consistory of 21 February 2001, Archbishop Bergoglio was created a cardinal by Pope John Paul II with the title of cardinal-priest of San Roberto Bellarmino, a church served by Jesuits and named for one; he was formally installed in that church the following 14 October. When he traveled to Rome for the ceremony, he and his sister María Elena visited the village in northern Italy where their father was born. As cardinal, Bergoglio was appointed to five administrative positions in the Roman Curia. He was a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Congregation for the Clergy, the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, the Pontifical Council for the Family and the Commission for Latin America. Later that year, when Cardinal Edward Egan returned to New York following the September 11 attacks, Bergoglio replaced him as relator (recording secretary) in the Synod of Bishops, and, according to the Catholic Herald, created “a favourable impression as a man open to communion and dialogue”.

Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio in 2008
Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio in 2008

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 elegant bishop’s residence in the suburb of Olivos. He took public transportation and cooked his own meals. He limited his time in Rome to “lightning visits”. He was known to be devoted to St. Therese of Lisieux, and he enclosed a small picture of her in the letters he wrote, calling her “a great missionary saint”.

After Pope John Paul II died on 2 April 2005, Bergoglio attended his funeral and was considered one of the papabile for succession to the papacy. He participated as a cardinal elector in the 2005 papal conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI. In the National Catholic Reporter, John L. Allen, Jr. reported that Bergoglio was a frontrunner in the 2005 conclave. In September 2005, the Italian magazine Limes published claims that Bergoglio had been the runner-up and main challenger to Cardinal Ratzinger at that conclave and that he had received 40 votes in the third ballot, but fell back to 26 at the fourth and decisive ballot. The claims were based on a diary purportedly belonging to an anonymous cardinal who had been present at the conclave. According to the Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli, this number of votes had no precedent for a Latin American papabile. La Stampa reported that Bergoglio was in close contention with Ratzinger during the election, until he made an emotional plea that the cardinals should not vote for him. According to Tornielli, Bergoglio made this request to prevent the conclave from delaying too much in the election of a pope.

As a cardinal, Bergoglio was associated with Communion and Liberation, a Catholic evangelical lay movement of the type known as associations of the faithful. He sometimes made appearances at the annual gathering known as the Rimini Meeting held during the late summer months in Italy. In 2005, Cardinal Bergoglio authorized the request for beatification—the third step towards sainthood—for six members of the Pallottine community murdered in the San Patricio Church massacre. At the same time, Bergoglio ordered an investigation into the murders themselves, which had been widely blamed on the National Reorganization Process, the military junta that ruled Argentina at the time.

Relations with Argentine governments

Dirty War

Bergoglio was the subject of allegations regarding the kidnapping of two Jesuit priests during Argentina’s Dirty War. He feared for the priests’ safety and had tried to change their work prior to their arrest; however, contrary to reports, he never tried to throw them out of the Jesuit order. In 2005, Myriam Bregman, a human rights lawyer, filed a criminal complaint against Bergoglio, as superior in the Society of Jesus of Argentina, accusing him of involvement in the Navy’s kidnapping of the two priests in May 1976. The lawyer’s complaint did not specify the nature of Bergoglio’s alleged involvement, and Bergoglio’s spokesman flatly denied the allegations. The lawsuit was ultimately dismissed. The priests, Orlando Yorio and Franz Jalics, had been tortured, but found alive five months later, drugged and semi-naked. Yorio accused Bergoglio of effectively handing them over to the death squads by declining to tell the authorities that he endorsed their work. Yorio, who died in 2000, said in a 1999 interview that he believed that Bergoglio did nothing “to free us, in fact just the opposite”. Jalics initially refused to discuss the complaint after moving into seclusion in a German monastery. However, two days after the election of Pope Francis, Jalics issued a statement confirming the kidnapping and attributing the cause to a former lay colleague who became a guerrilla, was captured, and named Yorio and Jalics when interrogated. The following week, Jalics issued a second, clarifying statement: “It is wrong to assert that our capture took place at the initiative of Father Bergoglio … the fact is, Orlando Yorio and I were not denounced by Father Bergoglio.”

Bergoglio told his authorized biographer, Sergio Rubin, that after the priests’ imprisonment, he worked behind the scenes for their release; Bergoglio’s intercession with dictator Jorge Rafael Videla on their behalf may have saved their lives. Bergoglio also told Rubin that he had often sheltered people from the dictatorship on church property, and once gave his own identity papers to a man who looked like him, so he could flee Argentina. The interview with Rubin, reflected in the biography El jesuita, is the only time Bergoglio has spoken to the press about those events. Alicia Oliveira, a former Argentine judge, has also reported that Bergoglio helped people flee Argentina during the rule of the junta. Since Francis became Pope, Gonzalo Mosca and José Caravias have related to journalists accounts of how Bergoglio helped them flee the Argentine dictatorship.

Oliveira described the future Pope as “anguished” and “very critical of the dictatorship” during the Dirty War. Oliveira met with him at the time and urged Bergoglio to speak out—he told her that “he couldn’t. That it wasn’t an easy thing to do.” Artist and human rights activist Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, the 1980 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, said: “Perhaps he didn’t have the courage of other priests, but he never collaborated with the dictatorship … Bergoglio was no accomplice of the dictatorship.” Graciela Fernández Meijide, member of the Permanent Assembly for Human Rights, also said that there was no proof linking Bergoglio with the dictatorship. She told to the Clarín newspaper: “There is no information and Justice couldn’t prove it. I was in the APDH during all the dictatorship years and I received hundreds of testimonies. Bergoglio was never mentioned. It was the same in the CONADEP. Nobody mentioned him as instigator or as anything.” Ricardo Lorenzetti, President of the Argentine Supreme Court, also has said that Bergoglio is “completely innocent” of the accusations.Historian Uki Goñi pointed that, during the early 1976, the military junta still had a good image among society, and that the scale of the political repression was not known until much later; Bergoglio would have had little reason to suspect that the detention of Yorio and Jalics could end up in their deaths.

When Bergoglio became Pope, an alleged photo of him giving the sacramental bread to dictator Jorge Rafael Videla became viral in social networks. It has also been used by the newspaper Página/12. The photo was soon proved to be false. It was revealed that the priest, whose face is not visible in the photo, was Carlos Berón de Astrada. The photo was taken at the church “Pequeña Obra de la Divina Providencia Don Orione” in 1990, not during the Dirty War, and after Videla’s presidential pardon. The photo was produced by the agency AFP and it was initially published by the Crónica newspaper.

Fernando de la Rúa

Fernando de la Rúa replaced Carlos Menem as president of Argentina in 1999. As an archbishop, Bergoglio celebrated the annual Mass at the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral on the First National Government holiday, 25 May. In 2000, Bergoglio criticized the perceived apathy of society. Argentina faced an economic depression at the time, and the Church criticized the fiscal austerity of the government, which increased poverty. De la Rúa asked the Church to promote a dialogue between the leaders of economic and political sectors to find a solution for the crisis. He claims that he talked with Bergoglio and proposed to take part in the meeting, but Bergoglio would have told him that the meeting was cancelled because of a misunderstanding by De la Rúa’s assistant, who may have declined the president’s assistance. Bishop Jorge Casaretto considers it unlikely, as De la Rúa only made the request in newspaper interviews, but never made a formal request to the Church.

The Justicialist Party won the 2001 elections and got the majority in the Congress, and appointed Ramón Puerta as president of the Senate. As vice president Carlos Álvarez resigned shortly before, this left an opposing party second in the order of precedence. Bergoglio asked for an interview with Puerta, and had a positive impression of him. Puerta told him that the Justicialist party was not plotting to oust De la Rúa, and promised to help the president promote the laws that may be required.

During police repression of the riots of December 2001, he contacted the Ministry of the Interior and asked that the police distinguish rioters engaged in acts of vandalism from peaceful protesters.

Néstor and Cristina Kirchner

Francis with Argentine president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
Francis with Argentine president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner

When Bergoglio celebrated Mass at the Cathedral for the 2004 First National Government holiday, President Néstor Kirchner attended and heard Bergoglio request more political dialogue, reject intolerance, and criticize exhibitionism and strident announcements. Kirchner celebrated the national day elsewhere the following year and the Mass in the Cathedral was suspended. In 2006, Bergoglio helped the fellow Jesuit Joaquín Piña to win the elections in the Misiones Province and prevent an amendment of the local constitution that would allow indefinite re-elections. Kirchner intended to use that project to start similar amendments at other provinces, and eventually to the national constitution. Kirchner considered Bergoglio as a political rival to the day he died in October 2010. Bergoglio’s relations with Kirchner’s widow and successor, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, have been similarly tense. In 2008, Bergoglio called for national reconciliation during disturbances in the country’s agricultural regions, which the government interpreted as a support for anti-government demonstrators. The campaign to enact same-sex marriage legislation was a particularly tense period in their relations.

When Bergoglio was elected pope, the initial reactions were mixed. Most of the Argentine society cheered it, but the pro-government newspaper Página/12 published renewed allegations about the Dirty War, and the president of the National Library described a global conspiracy theory. The president took more than an hour before congratulating the new Pope, and only did so in a passing reference within a routine speech. However, due to the Pope’s popularity in Argentina, Cristina Kirchner made what the political analyst Claudio Fantini called a “Copernican shift” in her relations with him and fully embraced the Francis phenomenon. On the day before his inauguration as pope, Bergoglio, now Francis, had a private meeting with Kirchner. They exchanged gifts and lunched together. This was the new pope’s first meeting with a head of state, and there was speculation that the two were mending their relations. Página/12 removed their controversial articles about Bergoglio, written by Horacio Verbitsky, from their web page, as a result of this change.

Papacy (2013–present)

Coat of arms of Pope Francis As Cardinal
Coat of arms of Pope Francis As Cardinal
Coat of arms of Pope Francis As Pope
Coat of arms of Pope Francis As Pope
 
The gold star represents the Virgin Mary, the grape-like plant—the spikenard—is associated with Saint Joseph and the IHS is the symbol of the Jesuits.

Elected at the age of 76, Francis was reported to be healthy and his doctors have stated that his missing lung tissue, removed in his youth, does not have a significant impact on his health. The only concern would be decreased respiratory reserve if he had a respiratory infection.] In the past, one attack of sciatica in 2007 prevented him from attending a consistory and delayed his return to Argentina for several days.

Francis is the first Jesuit pope. This was an unexpected appointment, because of the tense relations between the Society of Jesus and the Holy See. He is also the first from the Americas, and the first from the Southern Hemisphere. Many media reported him as being the first non-European pope, but he is actually the 11th; the previous was Gregory III from Syria, who died in 741. However, although Francis does not have a European nationality, he has a European ethnicity.

Pope Francis First Apearance

Here We can watch Pope Francis First Apearance

As pope, his manner is less formal than that of his immediate predecessors: a style that news coverage has referred to as “no frills”, noting that it is “his common touch and accessibility that is proving the greatest inspiration.” On the night of his election, he took a bus back to his hotel with the cardinals, rather than be driven in the papal car. The next day, he visited Cardinal Jorge María Mejía in the hospital and chatted with patients and staff. At his first media audience, the Saturday after his election, the Pope said of Saint Francis of Assisi: “The man who gives us this spirit of peace, the poor man”, and he added “[h]ow I would like a poor Church, and for the poor”.

In addition to his native Spanish, Francis is also conversant in Latin (the official language of the Holy See), he speaks fluent Italian (the official language of Vatican City and the “everyday language” of the Holy See), German, French, Portuguese, English, and he understands the Piedmontese language and some Genoese.

Francis chose not to live in the official papal residence in the Apostolic Palace, but to remain in the Vatican guest house, in a suite in which he can receive visitors and hold meetings. He is the first pope since Pope Pius X to live outside the papal apartments. Francis still appears at the window of the Apostolic Palace for the Sunday Angelus.

Election

Francis appears in public for the first time as pope, at St. Peter's Basilica balcony, 13 March 2013.
Francis appears in public for the first time as pope, at St. Peter’s Basilica balcony, 13 March 2013.

 Bergoglio was elected pope on 13 March 2013, the second day of the 2013 papal conclave, taking the papal name Francis. Francis was elected on the fifth ballot of the conclave. The Habemus Papam was delivered by Cardinal protodeacon Jean-Louis Tauran.[141] Cardinal Christoph Schönborn later said that Bergoglio was elected following two supernatural signs, one in the conclave and hence confidential, and a Latin-American couple of friends of Schönborn who whispered Bergoglio’s name in Schönborn’s ear; Schönborn commented “if these people say Bergoglio, that’s an indication of the Holy Spirit”.

Instead of accepting his cardinals’ congratulations while seated on the papal throne, Francis received them standing, reportedly an immediate sign of a changing approach to formalities at the Vatican. During his first appearance as pontiff on the balcony of Saint Peter’s Basilica, he wore a white cassock, not the red, ermine-trimmed mozzetta used by the previous two popes.[145] He also wore the same iron pectoral cross that he had worn as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, rather than the gold one worn by his predecessors.

After being elected and choosing his name, his first act was bestowing the Urbi et Orbi blessing to thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square. Before blessing the crowd, he asked those in St. Peter’s Square to pray for his predecessor, “the bishop emeritus of Rome” Pope Benedict XVI, and for himself as the new “bishop of Rome”.

Pope Francis held his papal inauguration on 19 March 2013 in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican. He celebrated Mass in the presence of various political and religious leaders from around the World. In his homily Pope Francis focused on the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, the liturgical day on which the Mass was celebrated.

Name

 In St. Peter's Square
In St. Peter’s Square
 At his first audience on 16 March 2013, Francis told journalists that he had chosen the name in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi, and had done so because he was especially concerned for the well-being of the poor. He explained that, as it was becoming clear during the conclave voting that he would be elected the new bishop of Rome, the Brazilian Cardinal Cláudio Hummes had embraced him and whispered, “Don’t forget the poor”, which had made Bergoglio think of the saint. Bergoglio had previously expressed his admiration for St. Francis, explaining that “He brought to Christianity an idea of poverty against the luxury, pride, vanity of the civil and ecclesiastical powers of the time. He changed history.”

This is the first time that a pope has been named Francis. On the day of his election, the Vatican clarified that his official papal name was “Francis”, not “Francis I”, i.e. no regnal number is used for him. A Vatican spokesman said that the name would become Francis I if and when there is a Francis II. It is the first time since Pope Lando’s 913–914 reign that a serving pope holds a name not used by a predecessor.

Francis also said that some cardinal-electors had jokingly suggested to him that he should choose either “Adrian”, since Pope Adrian VI had been a reformer of the church, or “Clement” to settle the score with Pope Clement XIV, who had suppressed the Jesuit order.[ In February 2014, it was reported that Bergoglio, had he been elected in 2005, would have chosen the pontifical name of “John XXIV” in honor of Pope John XXIII. It was said that he told Cardinal Francesco Marchisano: “John, I would have called myself John, like the Good Pope; I would have been completely inspired by him”.

Curia

 Inauguration of Pope Francis, 19 March 2013
Inauguration of Pope Francis, 19 March 2013
 On 16 March 2013, Pope Francis asked all those in senior positions of the Roman Curia to provisionally continue in office. He named Alfred Xuereb as his personal secretary. On 6 April he named José Rodríguez Carballo as secretary for the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, a position that had been vacant for several months. Francis abolished the bonuses paid to Vatican employees upon the election of a new pope, amounting to several million Euros, opting instead to donate the money to charity. He also abolished the €25,000 annual bonus paid to the cardinals serving on the Board of Supervisors for the Vatican bank.

On 13 April 2013, he named eight cardinals to a new Council of Cardinal Advisers to advise him on revising the organizational structure of the Roman Curia. The group included several known as critics of Vatican operations and only one member of the Curia. They are Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Vatican City State governorate; Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa from Chile; Oswald Gracias from India; Reinhard Marx from Germany; Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya from the Democratic Republic of the Congo; George Pell from Australia; Seán O’Malley from the United States; and Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga from Honduras. He appointed Bishop Marcello Semeraro secretary for the group and scheduled its first meeting for 1–3 October.

Early issues

Map indicating countries visited by Francis as pope, as of May 2017
Map indicating countries visited by Francis as pope, as of May 2017
 In March 2013, 21 British Catholic peers and Members of Parliament from all parties asked Francis to allow married men in Great Britain to be ordained as priests, keeping celibacy as the rule for bishops. They asked it on the grounds that it would be anomalous that married Anglican priests can be received into the Catholic Church and ordained as priests, by means of either the Pastoral Provision of 20 June 1980 or the 2009 Anglican ordinariate, but married Catholic men cannot do the same.

Fouad Twal, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, included a call in his 2013 Easter homily for the Pope to visit Jerusalem. Louis Raphael I, the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch, asked the Pope to visit the “embattled Christian community” in Iraq.

On the first Holy Thursday following his election, Francis washed and kissed the feet of ten male and two female juvenile offenders, not all Catholic, aged from 14 to 21, imprisoned at Rome’s Casal del Marmo detention facility, telling them the ritual of foot washing is a sign that he is at their service. This was the first time that a pope had included women in this ritual; although he had already done so when he was archbishop. One of the male and one of the female offenders was a Muslim.

On 31 March 2013 Francis used his first Easter homily to make a plea for peace throughout the world, specifically mentioning the Middle East, Africa, and North and South Korea. He also spoke out against those who give in to “easy gain” in a world filled with greed, and made a plea for humanity to become a better guardian of creation by protecting the environment. He said that “[w]e ask the risen Jesus, who turns death into life, to change hatred into love, vengeance into forgiveness, war into peace.” Although the Vatican had prepared greetings in 65 languages, Francis chose not to read them. According to the Vatican, the pope “at least for now, feels at ease using Italian, the everyday language of the Holy See”.

In 2013, Francis initially reaffirmed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s program to reform the U.S. Leadership Conference of Women Religious, initiated under his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI. The New York Times reported that the Vatican had formed the opinion in 2012 that the sisters’ group was tinged with feminist influences, focused too much on ending social and economic injustice and not enough on stopping abortion, and permitted speakers at its meetings who questioned church doctrine. However, in April 2015 the investigation was brought to a close. The timing of the closure may have anticipated a visit by Francis to the U.S. in September 2015.

On 12 May, Francis carried out his first canonizations of candidates approved for sainthood during the reign of Benedict XVI: the first Colombian saint, Laura of Saint Catherine of Siena, the second female Mexican saint, Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala, both of the 20th century, and the 813 15th-century Martyrs of Otranto. He said: “While we venerate the martyrs of Otranto, ask God to support the many Christians who still suffer from violence and give them the courage and fate and respond to evil with goodness.” He also commented on abortion, saying legislation should be introduced to “protect all human beings from the first moment of their existence.”

Consultation with Catholic laity

A February 2014 survey by World Values Survey cited in The Washington Post and Time shows how the unity Pope Francis had created could be challenged. Although views about Francis personally were favorable, many Catholics disagreed with at least some of his teachings. The survey found that members of the Roman Catholic Church are deeply divided over abortion, artificial contraception, divorce, the ordination of women, and married priests. In the same month Pope Francis asked parishes to provide answers to an official questionnaire described as a “much broader consultation than just a survey” regarding opinions among the laity. He continued to assert Catholic doctrine, in less dramatic tone than his recent predecessors, who maintained that the Catholic Church is not a democracy of popular opinion.

Linda Woodhead of Lancaster University wrote of the survey Francis initiated, “it’s not a survey in any sense that a social scientist would recognize.” Woodhead said that many ordinary Catholics would have difficulty understanding theological jargon there. Nonetheless, she suspected the survey might be influential.

The Catholic Church in England and Wales as of April 2014 had refused to publish results of this survey; a Church spokesman said a senior Vatican official had expressly asked for summaries to remain confidential, and that orders had come from the Pope that the information should not be made public until after October. This disappointed many reformers who hoped the laity would be more involved in decision-making. Some other Roman Catholic churches, for example in Germany and Austria, published summaries of the responses to the survey, which showed a wide gap between Church teaching and the behavior of ordinary Catholics.

In a column he wrote for the Vatican’s semi-official newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, the head Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, US Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, who has a long-standing reputation as one of the church’s most vocal conservative hard-liners, said that Pope Francis opposed both abortion and gay marriage. The Vatican’s chief spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, also noted in the Vatican Press Office during the 2014 consistory meetings that Pope Francis and Cardinal Walter Kasper would not change or redefine any dogmas pertaining to Church theology on doctrinal matters.

Institute for the Works of Religion

In the first months of Francis’s papacy, the Institute for the Works of Religion, informally known as the Vatican Bank, said that it would become more transparent in its financial dealings There had long been allegations of corruption and money laundering connected with the bank. Francis appointed a commission to advise him about reform of the Bank, and the finance consulting firm Promontory Financial Group was assigned to carry out a comprehensive investigation of all customer contacts of the bank on these facts. Because of this affair the Promoter of Justice at the Vatican Tribunal applied a letter rogatory for the first time in the history of the Republic of Italy at the beginning of August 2013. In January 2014 Francis replaced four of the five cardinal overseers of the Vatican Bank, who had been confirmed in their positions in the final days of Benedict XVI’s papacy. Lay experts and clerics were looking into how the bank was run. Ernst von Freyberg was put in charge. Moneyval feels more reform is needed, and Francis may be willing to close the bank if the reforms prove too difficult. There is uncertainty how far reforms can succeed.

Papal documents

On 29 June 2013, Pope Francis published his first encyclical, titled Lumen fidei. It is a collaborative writing with Benedict XVI and talks about faith, complementing Benedict’s previous encyclicals on charity and hope. He published his second one, entitled Laudato si’, on 18 June 2015, concerning care for the planet. On 24 November 2013, he published his apostolic exhortation Evangelii gaudium, with his views on faith and evangelization. On 8 April 2016, Pope Francis published his second apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, remarking on love within the family. Major controversy erupted at the end of 2016 when four cardinals, supported by some Catholic prelates and scholars, formally asked Pope Francis for clarifications, particularly on the issue of giving communion to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics.

His motu proprios include Ai nostri tempi and De concordia inter codices. Francis issued another titled Maiorem hac dilectionem which created a new path towards canonization for certain causes.

He established two new Secretariats (top-level departments) in the Roman Curia: the Secretariat for the Economy, and the Secretariat for Communications. He reformed the process for declaring matrimonial nullity.

Clerical titles

In January 2014, Pope Francis said that he would appoint fewer monsignors and only assign those honored to the lowest of the three surviving ranks of monsignor, Chaplain of His Holiness. It would be awarded only to diocesan priests at least 65 years old. During his 15 years as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis never sought the title for any of his priests. It is believed he associates it with clerical careerism and hierarchy, though he did not apply this restriction to clergy working in the Roman Curia or diplomatic corps, where careerism is an even greater concern.

Canonizations and beatifications

 Pope Francis presides over the canonization of Francisco and Jacinta Marto, in the Sanctuary of Fátima, Portugal, in 2017
Pope Francis presides over the canonization of Francisco and Jacinta Marto, in the Sanctuary of Fátima, Portugal, in 2017
 

Pope Francis presided over the first canonizations of his pontificate on 12 May 2013 in which he canonized Antonio Primaldo and his 812 companions as well as the nuns Laura of Saint Catherine of Siena and Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavalia – in this first canonization he surpassed the record of Pope John Paul II in canonizing the most saints in a pontificate. Francis approved the equipollent canonization of Angela of Foligno the following 9 October and then the Jesuit Peter Faber the following 17 December.

The pope approved further equipollent canonizations on 3 April 2014 for the Jesuit José de Anchieta as well as the Ursuline nun Marie of the Incarnation and bishop François de Laval. Francis canonized his two predecessors John XXIII and John Paul II on 27 April 2014 and canonized six additional saints the following 23 November. The pope canonized Joseph Vaz on his visit to Sri Lanka on 14 January 2015 and canonized a further four saints on the following 17 May; he canonized Junípero Serra on 23 September while visiting the United States and then canonized four saints on 18 October including the first married couple to be named as saints. Francis canonized Maria Elisabeth Hesselblad and Stanislaus Papczyński on 5 June 2016 and then canonized Teresa of Calcutta on 4 September; he canonized seven additional saints on 16 October. The pope canonized the two child visionaries Francisco and Jacinta Marto during his visit to Fátima in mid-2017 and will canonize over 30 additional saints on 15 October.

The pope has also continued the practice of having beatifications celebrated in the place of the individual’s origin though has presided over beatifications himself on three occasions for Paul Yun Ji-Chung and 123 companions on 16 August 2014, his predecessor Pope Paul VI on 19 October 2014 and two Colombians on 8 September 2017. The pope has approved beatifications for a range of men and women including the likes of Álvaro del Portillo of Opus Dei (27 September 2014) and the martyred archbishop Óscar Romero (23 May 2015).

Doctor of the Church

On 21 February 2015, Francis signed a decree naming Saint Gregory of Narek as the 36th Doctor of the Church; he formally conferred the title upon the saint at a ceremony held in Saint Peter’s Basilica on 12 April 2015.

Consistories

Benedict XVI also attended the second consistory on 14 February 2015, at which Francis elevated 20 new cardinals, with 15 under the age of eighty and five over the age of eighty. The pope continued his practice of appointing cardinals from the peripheries, such as Charles Maung Bo of Myanmar and Soane Patita Paini Mafi of Tonga.

Francis presided over the third consistory of his papacy on 19 November 2016, elevating 17 new cardinals. Of that total number at the time of their elevation, 13 were under the age of eighty and four were over the age of eighty. Francis continued his previous practice of elevating cardinals from the peripheries with an emphasis again on Asia and Africa, such as Patrick D’Rozario from Bangladesh and Dieudonné Nzapalainga from the Central African Republic, while also naming the first three American cardinals of his papacy and only one Curial appointment.

The pope presided over a fourth consistory for the elevation of 5 new cardinals on the afternoon of 28 June 2017. Each of the five were under the age of eighty, and were thus eligible to vote in a papal conclave. This consistory was noteworthy for the fact that, with the pope continuing the trend of elevating cardinals from a diverse range of areas, no cardinals elevated are of the Roman Curia, and one was a mere auxiliary bishop.

Year of Mercy

Pope Francis opens the Holy Door marking the beginning of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy.
Pope Francis opens the Holy Door marking the beginning of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy.

The Holy Doors of the major basilicas of Rome (including the Great Door of St. Peter’s) were opened, and special “Doors of Mercy” were opened at cathedrals and other major churches around the world, where the faithful can earn indulgences by fulfilling the usual conditions of prayer for the Pope’s intentions, confession, and detachment from sin, and communion. During Lent of that year, special 24-hour penance services will be celebrated, and during the year, special qualified and experienced priests called “Missionaries of Mercy” will be available in every diocese to forgive even severe, special-case sins normally reserved to the Holy See’s Apostolic Penitentiary.

Criticisms

A session of the Synod of Bishops
A session of the Synod of Bishops in October 2014.

Since 2016, criticisms against Francis by some conservative Catholics intensified. An unnamed group of “anti-reform” cardinals has been claimed to state that Francis’s supposed openness to “modernity on sexual morality, communion for remarried Catholics and friendly relations with other religions have opened a gulf between progressives and traditionalists.” Other conservatives have criticized his administrative style which they assert the pontiff has “wielded” against conservative opponents.” Francis has also been contrasted with Donald Trump, with some conservative critics drawing comparisons between the two.

The Pope drew criticism in 2013 for appearing on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica with Godfried Danneels in the Pope’s initial presentation, as well as appointments he received from Francis. Danneels had previously recommended silence on sex-crimes committed by priests. In 2014 his rehabilitation of Fr. Mauro Inzoli, who was defrocked in 2012 for sexually abusing minors, sparked controversy In 2015, he was criticized for supporting Chilean bishop Juan Barros, who was accused over covering up sex-crimes against minors. In February 2017, further criticism from clergy sex abuse survivors erupted when it was revealed that the Pope had quietly made the Church-recommended sentence for clergy convicted of sex abuse a lifetime of prayer rather than a recommendation to serve time in jail.

In the Venezuela’s crisis, Francis has not openly denounced the acts of Nicolas Maduro, despite the reiterated requests made by the local bishops. Critics suggested that Francis might be holding back out of ideological sympathy for Maduro and his left-wing allies, such as Evo Morales.

On a theological level, major controversy erupted after the publication of the apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia. Four Cardinals formally asked Pope Francis for clarifications, particularly on the issue of giving communion to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics. They submitted five “dubia” (doubts), and requested a yes or no answer. Francis declined to answer—a move which British Cardinal Vincent Nichols characterized as “absolutely right,” noting that “to enter into that field is actually to step back from the very thing he wants to help us understand, that we have to respond to people and help them in their journey to God and to do so is not simply to apply a law.”al Müller, divorced and civilly remarried can have access to the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Communion only if they refrain from sexual relations. Pope Francis subsequently announced that dicastery prefects would be appointed for a single five year term, and replaced Cardinal Müller at the end of his term in 2017 with Luis Ladaria Ferrer. Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, one of the authors of the dubia, sustains that after Amoris laetitia “only a blind man could deny there’s great confusion, uncertainty and insecurity in the Church.”

In February 2017, posters appeared around Rome featuring a stern-looking Pope Francis, complaining about Francis’s actions against conservative Catholics, and challenging his reputation for mercy. According to vaticanist Inés San Martín this is “the first time in most Romans’ memories that the city has seen posters in major public venues complaining about the policies of a given pope”. A week later, the Pope was targeted by a fake news hoax, which spoofed L’Osservatore Romano. In response, the Council of Cardinal Advisers appointed by the Pope voiced its “full support” to Francis. In March 2017, when Cardinal Donald Wuerl was asked about the Pope’s critics, he concluded: “I think, there are just some people who can’t bring themselves to move beyond where they are. These look at things through one lens only. But this pontificate and ‘Amoris Laetitia’ are multifaceted, and if you can only see them through one lens, you’re never going to be able to appreciate this.”

In July of 2017 a group of conservative clergy, academics and prominent laymen signed a document labeled as a “Filial Correction” of Pope Francis. The twenty-five page document, which was made public in September after receiving no reply from the Holy See, criticized the Pope for allegedly promoting heresy through various words, actions and omissions during his pontificate. This filial correction is a rare initiative: the first correction to be made of a reigning Pontiff since Pope John XXII was admonished in 1333.

 

Role in international diplomacy

Pope Francis with U.S. President Barack Obama
Pope Francis with U.S. President Barack Obama, 27 March 2014
 
Pope Francis shaking hands with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, behind Russian President Vladimir Putin, 10 June 2015
Pope Francis shaking hands with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, behind Russian President Vladimir Putin, 10 June 2015
 

Pope Francis played a key role in the talks toward restoring full diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba. The restoration was jointly announced by U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro on Wednesday, 17 December 2014. The headline in the Los Angeles Times on 19 December 2014 was “Bridge to Cuba via Vatican,” with the further lead “In a rare and crucial role, Pope Francis helped keep U.S. talks with Havana on track and guided final deal.” The pope was a behind the scenes broker of the agreement, taking the role following President Obama’s request during his visit to the pope in March 2014. The success of the negotiations was credited to Francis because “as a religious leader with the confidence of both sides, he was able to convince the Obama and Castro administrations that the other side would live up to the deal”. En route to the United States for a visit in September 2015, the pope stopped in Cuba. “The plan comes amid a breakthrough for which Francis has received much credit.” The Cuba visit “seals that accomplishment, in which he served as a bridge between two erstwhile enemies”. According to one expert on religion in Latin America, Mario Paredes, the pope’s visit to Cuba is consistent with his aim to promote an understanding of the role of the Cuban Revolution and that of the Catholic Church. When Francis was archbishop of Buenos Aires he authored a text entitled “Dialogues Between John Paul II and Fidel Castro.”John Paul was the first pope to visit Cuba. In May 2015, the pope met with Cuban leader Raúl Castro. After the meeting in Vatican City on 10 May 2015, Castro said that he is considering returning to the Roman Catholic Church. He said in a televised news conference, “I read all the speeches of the pope, his commentaries, and if the pope continues this way, I will go back to praying and go back to the [Roman Catholic] church. I am not joking.” Castro said that when the pope comes, “I promise to go to all his Masses and with satisfaction”.

In December 2014, Pope Francis declined to meet with the 14th Dalai Lama, the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize laureate. According to a New York Times report, a Vatican spokesman said “Pope Francis obviously holds the Dalai Lama in very high regard, but he will not be meeting any of the Nobel [Peace] laureates.” The last meeting between the Dalai Lama and a pope was with Benedict XVI in 2006. In November 2015, Pope Francis met with that year’s Nobel Peace Prize laureates from Tunisia.

In May 2014, his visit to the state of Israel was heavily publicized, where he delivered 13 speeches. However, protests against his visit resulted in an alleged arson attempt at the Dormition Abbey. The cave under the Church of the Nativity caught fire the night after his visit.

In May 2015, Pope Francis welcomed Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to the Vatican. Several media outlets reported that Francis praised Abbas as “an angel of peace”, though his actual words were the following: “The angel of peace destroys the evil spirit of war. I thought about you: may you be an angel of peace.” The Vatican signed a treaty recognizing the state of Palestine. The Vatican issued statements concerning the hope that the peace talks could resume between Israel and Palestine. Abbas’s visit was on the occasion of the canonization of two Palestinian nuns.Pope Francis in Ireland

On 6 June 2015, Pope Francis visited Sarajevo, the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He urged peace during his time in the religiously diverse city, known as the “Jerusalem of Europe”.

On 25 September 2015, Pope Francis addressed the United Nations in New York City.

On 16 April 2016, he visited, together with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the Archbishop Ieronimos II of Athens, the Mòria camp in the Greek island of Lesbos, to call the attention of the world to the refugee issue. There the three Christian leaders signed a joint declaration.

Pope Francis has said he will visit Ireland in 2018, in what will be the first papal tour of the country since John Paul II’s historic trip in 1979.

U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania with Pope Francis, 24 May 2017, Vatican City
U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania with Pope Francis, 24 May 2017, Vatican City

In January 2017, Pope Francis demanded the resignation of Matthew Festing, the 79th Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. The Pope’s demand came as a response to Festing and Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke’s firing of Baron Albrecht von Boeselager from his position in the Order of Malta. The Order is currently under Vatican control until another Prince is appointed.

On 24 May 2017, Pope Francis met with U.S. President Donald Trump in Vatican City where they discussed the contributions of Catholics to the United States and to the world. Trump and the Pope discussed issues of mutual concern including how religious communities can combat human suffering in crisis regions, such as Syria, Libya, and ISIS-controlled territory. Trump and Pope Francis also discussed terrorism and the radicalization of young people. The Vatican’s secretary of state, Pietro Parolin, raised the issue of climate change in the meeting and encouraged Trump to remain in the Paris Agreement.

Public image

 
Pope Francis (27056871831) (cropped).jpg

Popular mainstream media frequently portray Pope Francis either as a progressive papal reformer or with liberal, moderate values. The Vatican has claimed that Western news outlets often seek to portray his message with a less-doctrinal tone of papacy, in hopes of extrapolating his words to convey a more merciful and tolerant message. In the news media, both faithful and non-believers often refer to a “honeymoon” phase in which the Pope has changed the tone on Catholic doctrines and supposedly initiated ecclesiastical reform in the Vatican. Media systems differ, too, not only in their coverage of Francis’s stances but also in how individual events are portrayed. His 2015 trip to Cuba is a prime example. During this trip, American-based AP and British-based Reuters highlighted the religious aspect of the pope’s journey while Prensa Latina, the official state media agency, depicted it as a diplomatic visit. American and British media were also more likely during this trip to show Francis interacting with regular Cubans compared to the official Cuban media, which showed Francis interacting with elites most often.

In December 2013, both Time and The Advocate magazines named the Pontiff as their “Person of the Year” in praise and hopes of reforming the Roman Curia while hoping to change the Catholic Church’s doctrine on various controversial issues. In addition, Esquire magazine named him as the “Best-dressed man” for 2013 for his simpler vestments often in tune with a modern simplistic design on sartorial fashion. Rolling Stone magazine followed in January 2014 by making the Pontiff their featured front cover. Fortune magazine also ranked Pope Francis as number one in their list of 50 greatest leaders. On 5 November 2014, he was ranked by Forbes as the fourth most powerful person in the world and was the only non-political figure in the top ranking. In December 2016, Francis yet made Forbess list of “The World’s Most Powerful People”, ranking fifth.

In March 2013, a new song was dedicated to Francis and released in Brazilian Portuguese, European Portuguese, and Italian, titled Come Puoi (“How You Can”). Also in March, Pablo Buera, the mayor of La Plata, Argentina, announced that the city had renamed a section of a street leading up to a local cathedral Papa Francisco. There are already efforts to name other streets after him, as well as a school where he studied as a child. A proposal to create a commemorative coin as a tribute to Pope Francis was made in Argentina’s lower house on 28 November 2013. On the coins it would read, “Tribute from the Argentine People to Pope Francis.” beneath his face. As of May 2013, sales of papal souvenirs, a sign of popularity, were up.

Pope Francis presided over his first joint public wedding ceremony in a Nuptial Mass for 20 couples from the Archdiocese of Rome on 14 September 2014, just a few weeks before the start of 5–19 October Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family.

To date, there are two biographical films about Pope Francis: Call Me Francesco (Italy, 2015), starring Rodrigo de la Serna, and Francis: Pray for me (Argentina, 2015), starring Darío Grandinetti.

In 2016, while in Mexico, Pope Francis made international headlines for criticizing U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Francis said of Donald Trump, “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not the gospel.” Trump responded saying “For a religious leader to question a person’s faith is disgraceful.” Father Federico Lombardi defended the Pope’s remarks, saying that they weren’t by any means “a personal attack, nor an indication of who to vote for”.

On 19 March 2016, Pope Francis became the first Pope to create an Instagram account. He broke records after having gained over one million followers in under twelve hours of the account being up.

On 8 January 2017 at a ceremony commemorating the Baptism of Jesus at the Sistine Chapel in which twenty-eight infants were to be baptized, Pope Francis reiterated support for mothers to breastfeed their children in public, even in sacred places.

In July 2017 Pope Francis reiterated the position of the Church that bread to be used in the eucharist for the transsubstantiation into the Body of Christ should not be glutenfree.The publication was considered very painful for patients who suffer from coeliac disease and who cannot tolerate any gluten.

Distinctions

Titles and styles

Papal styles of
Pope Francis
Insigne Francisci.svg
Reference style His Holiness
Spoken style Your Holiness
Religious style Holy Father

The official style of the Pope in English is His Holiness Pope Francis; in Latin, Franciscus, Episcopus Romae. Holy Father is another honorific often used for popes.

His full title, rarely used, is:

His Holiness Francis, Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the Vatican City State, Servant of the servants of God.

The best-known title, that of “Pope”, does not appear in the official list of titles, but is commonly used in the titles of documents, and appears, in abbreviated form, in their signatures as “PP.” standing for Papa (Pope).

It is customary when referring to popes to translate the regnal name into local languages. Thus he is Papa Franciscus in Latin (the official language of the Holy See), Papa Francesco in Italian (the language of the Vatican), Papa Francisco in his native Spanish, and Pope Francis in English.

National orders

As Pope, representative of the Holy See and head of state of Vatican City, Francis is Grand Master of the following orders:

  •  Holy See: Supreme Order of Christ
  •  Holy See: Order of the Golden Spur
  •  Holy See: Order of Pius IX
  •  Holy See: Order of St. Gregory the Great
  •  Holy See: Order of St. Sylvester

Foreign orders

  •  Bolivia: Grand Collar of the Order of the Condor of the Andes (9 July 2015)
  •  Bolivia: Order of Merit “Father Luis Espinal Camps” (9 July 2015)
  •  Poland: Order of the Smile (26 April 2016)

Awards

  •  Germany: International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen 2016
  • “Person of the Year” by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (2015) for his request that all Catholics be kind to animals.

Academic honours

  • Honorary Sommelier Diploma of the Italian Sommelier Association (2015)

Honorific eponyms and dedications

Francis and President Aquino at Malacañan, 16 January 2015
Francis and President Aquino at Malacañan, 16 January 2015
 
  •  Philippines: The Pope Francis Center for the Poor—Palo, Leyte (12 July 2015)
  • Ennio Morricone composed a Mass setting (Missa Papae Francisci) named after the Pope, for the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the restoration of the Jesuit order. The performance aired on Rai 5 and was attended by former Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and other dignitaries.
  • The composer Ludger Stühlmeyer dedicated his work Klangrede – Sonnengesang des Franziskus, for choir (SATB) and instruments, to Pope Francis (Suae Sanctitati Papae Francisci dedicat.). First performance: Capella Mariana 4 October 2015.

Appreciation

In the oratorio Laudato si’ by Peter Reulein (music) written on a libretto by Helmut Schlegel OFM, the figure of Pope Francis appears next to Mary, Francis of Assisi and Clare of Assisi. In the oratorio, Pope Franziskus suggests a bridge from the crucifixion scene on Golgotha to the suffering of the present. He emphasizes the female talent and the importance of the charism of women for church and society. The texts of the encyclical Laudato si’ and Evangelii gaudium were used. The motto of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy also plays a central role. The oratorio was premiered on 6 November 2016 in the Limburg Cathedral.

Writings

Books

  • Bergoglio, Jorge (1982). Meditaciones para religiosos [Meditations for the Religious] (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: Diego de Torres. OCLC 644781822. 
  • Bergoglio, Jorge (1992). Reflexiones en esperanza [Reflections of Hope] (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: Ediciones Universidad del Salvador. OCLC 36380521. 
  • Bergoglio, Jorge (2003). Educar: exigencia y pasión: desafíos para educadores cristianos [To Educate: Exactingness and Passion: Challenges for Christian Educators] (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: Editorial Claretiana. ISBN 9789505124572. 
  • Bergoglio, Jorge (2003). Ponerse la patria al hombro: memoria y camino de esperanza [Putting the Motherland on One’s Shoulders: Memoir and Path of Hope] (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: Editorial Claretiana. ISBN 9789505125111. 
  • Bergoglio, Jorge (2005). La nación por construir: utopía, pensamiento y compromiso: VIII Jornada de Pastoral Social [The Nation to Be Built: Utopia, Thought, and Commitment] (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: Editorial Claretiana. ISBN 9789505125463. 
  • Bergoglio, Jorge (2006). Corrupción y pecado: algunas reflexiones en torno al tema de la corrupción [Corruption and Sin: Some Thoughts on Corruption] (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: Editorial Claretiana. ISBN 9789505125722. 
  • Bergoglio, Jorge (2006). Sobre la acusación de sí mismo [On Self-Accusation, (or from the Italian, Humility: The Road towards God)] (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: Editorial Claretiana. ISBN 978-950-512-549-4. 
  • Bergoglio, Jorge (2007). El verdadero poder es el servicio [True Power Is Service] (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: Editorial Claretiana. OCLC 688511686. 
  • Bergoglio, Jorge (2009). Seminario: las deudas sociales de nuestro tiempo: la deuda social según la doctrina de la iglesia [Seminar: the Social Debts of Our Time: Social Debt According to Church Doctrine] (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: EPOCA-USAL. ISBN 9788493741235. 
  • Bergoglio, Jorge; Skorka, Abraham (2010). Sobre el cielo y la tierra [On Heaven and Earth] (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: Editorial Sudamericana. ISBN 9789500732932. ; Bergoglio, Jorge; Skorka, Abraham (2013). On Heaven and Earth: Pope Francis on Faith, Family, and the Church in the Twenty-First Century. New York: Random House. ISBN 978-0770435066. 
  • Bergoglio, Jorge (2010). Seminario Internacional: consenso para el desarrollo: reflexiones sobre solidaridad y desarrollo [International seminar: Consensus about Development: Reflexions on Solidarity and development] (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: EPOCA. ISBN 9789875073524. 
  • Bergoglio, Jorge (2011). Nosotros como ciudadanos, nosotros como pueblo: hacia un bicentenario en justicia y solidaridad [Ourselves as Citizens, Ourselves as a People: towards a Bicentenary in Justice and Solidarity] (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: Editorial Claretiana. ISBN 9789505127443. 
  • Pope Francis (2013). The Joy of the Gospel: Evangelii Gaudium. Washington, DC: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. ISBN 978-1601374585. 
  • Pope Francis (2013). Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Reflections On Following Jesus. Translated by Joseph V. Owens, SJ. New York: Crossroad Publishing Company. ISBN 9780824519971. 
  • Pope Francis (2015). Praise Be To You – Laudato Si’; On Care for Our Common Home. San Francisco: Ignatius Press. ISBN 978-1621640813. 
  • Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia on Love in the Family (“The Joy of Love”), published 8 April 2016

Other

  • Bergoglio, Jorge (1995). La vida sagrada y su misión en la Iglesia y en el mundo (PDF) (in Spanish). Argentina Catholic University: Faculty of Theology. OCLC 806712655. 
  • Egan, Edward Michael; Bergoglio, Jorge (2001). Episcopus minister Evangelii Iesu Christi propter spem mundi: relatio post disceptationem. The Catholic Church. The Synod of Bishops. Ordinary General Assembly. E Civitate Vaticana. OCLC 749998123. 
  • Bergoglio, Jorge (2003). “For Man”. In Buzzi, Elisa. A Generative Thought: An Introduction to the Works of Luigi Giussani. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press. pp. 79–83. ISBN 0-7735-2612-9. 
  • John Paul, Pope; Castro, Fidel (2004). Bergoglio, Jorge, ed. Diálogos entre Juan Pablo II y Fidel Castro [Dialogues Between John Paul II and Fidel Castro] (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: Ciudad Argentina. ISBN 9789875070745. 
  • Bergoglio, Jorge (2007). “Buscar el camino hacia el futuro, llevando consigo la memoria de las raíces”. Humanitas (in Spanish). National Humanities Institute (47): 468–483. OCLC 176911626. 
  • Castiñeira de Dios, José María (2007). El santito Ceferino Namuncurá: relato en verso (in Spanish). Foreword by Jorge Bergoglio. Buenos Aires: Lumen. ISBN 9789870007340. 
  • Spadaro, Antonio, SJ (interviewer) (2013). A Big Heart Open to God: A Conversation with Pope Francis. New York: HarperOne. ISBN 978-0062333773. 
  • Official Vatican transcript in English of IEC Catechesis The Eucharist: Gift from God for the life of the world (2008) (originally given in Spanish), 49th International Eucharistic Congress, Quebec, Canada
  • Agencia Informativa Católica Argentina (1999–2012). Documentos de los obispos: Homilías y documentos del cardenal Bergoglio (in Spanish)

Music album

 

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