The Jesuit Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina is the new Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. Francis I. is th
e first Jesuit in the papal office and also the first non-European.
The Roman Catholic Church experienced a double premiere: for the first time in history there is a Pope who comes from South America. And for the first time a member of the Jesuit order holds the highest ecclesiastical Office. The Argentinian Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected Pope on Wednesday evening in the fifth round of votes. Until now, the 76-year-old had been the Archbishop of Buenos Aires. Bergoglio’s name as Pope is Francesco (Francis), he is the first Pope who has chosen this name. Bergoglio is considered a modest, down-to-earth and ecologically-minded person. As the “Cardinal of the poor”, he uses mostly public transportation and waived episcopal splendor.
Following up on the recent resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, whose pontificate will end Feb. 28, Rome prepares itself to receive thousands of tourists which will reach The Capital to meet the new Pope.
Benedict XVI’s successor will be chosen by 117 cardinal-electors during a secret election – known as a Conclave – in the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel. The Vatican has yet to announce a date for the start of the conclave, making it difficult for out-of-towners to plan their trips.
The Vatican will publicize more informations next month after the beginning of the so-colled vacant seat period but the conclave is expected to start mid-March, possibly in time to install a pope before the start of Holy Week on March 24, Palm Sunday.
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