White smoke rose over Saint Peter’s Square Wednesday evening in Rome and Pope Francis was soon introduced to cheering crowds. Also known by his birth name, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, he is 76-years-old and from Argentina.
Here are the five things you should probably know about Pope Francis:
1. Pope Francis was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1936 to working class Italian immigrants. He is the first non-European Catholic Pope.
2. Pope Francis was first ordained as Catholic priest in 1969. Prior to his time in the seminary he earned a Master’s degree in chemistry.
3. Pope Francis is a Jesuit and the first-ever Jesuit to be elected Pope.
4. Pope Francis is a social and religious conservative: he opposes abortion, same-sex marriage, and pre-marital sex.
5. Pope Francis is a simple guy. Even as Archbishop of Buenos Aires and a cardinal he took the bus to work every day and cooked his own meals. He favors direct outreach to the poor.
The election of Pope Francis signals a progressive move for the Church while simultaneously returning to its core values. He has been an outspoken critic of what he feels are Catholic Church leaders’ critical attitudes towards marginalized groups in society as well as the lavish lifestyle of Vatican officials.
Photo courtesy of WENN.com
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Kat Robinson is a regular contributor for SheKnows and loves to connect women to all the latest news. She currently lives in Scottsdale, Arizona and is a 2010 Jack Kent Cooke Scholar. Follow her on Twitter @katrobinson1