It’s a little off-topic, however, as it is such big news, I thought I would write an article on Pope Francis, the 266th Roman Catholic Pontiff, and first-ever Latin American leader of the Catholic Church.

Argentinean Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now known as Pope Francis, was born on 17th  December 1936, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He was born one of five children of an Italian rail worker and his wife.

He only has one lung, as the other was removed when he was a young man as the result of an infection. He became a Jesuit priest aged 32, but despite his late start, he was leading the local Jesuit community within four years, holding the top spot from 1973 to 1979. In 1998 he was appointed archbishop of Buenos Aires.

For a Cardinal he lived a simple life, turning down a cardinal’s residence, and instead living in a humble flat, and rejecting a chauffeur driven car, opting instead to take the bus.

Pope Francis is highly opposed to gay marriage, as he believes that a child should have a mother and a father. He is also vehemently opposed euthanasia and abortion, even in rape cases. He says contraception is permissible to prevent the spread of disease.

Quick Facts about Pope Francis

  • He is one of five children of a rail worker
  • He has a philosophy degree from the Catholic University of Buenos Aires and a master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Buenos Aires.
  • He speaks fluent Italian, English and Spanish
  • Before becoming Archbishop, he taught literature, philosophy, theology, and psychology.
  • Until now he has been living in a small flat instead of a cardinal’s residence
  • He is the first non-European pope in the modern era, and the first head of Roman Catholic Church from Latin America.
  • He believes that homosexual adoption is discrimination to children
  • In 2001 he washed and kissed the feet of AIDS patients in a hospice
  • He has criticized priests who refuse to baptise single mothers and their babies.
  • He cooks his own meals
  • He takes the bus
  •  He was runner up to Pope Benedict in the 2005 election XVI