Pope Francis: Profile Of New Catholic Leader (Video) – 130313 2255z

[Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina, who was announced to be Pope Francis, appeared on the Vatican balcony to greet onlookers in St. Peter’s Square and say a prayer. He is the first pontiff from South America and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium – no fault with volume, starts low, increases]

(Video credit: PBSNewsHour)

Pope Francis is the first ever from the Americas, an austere Jesuit intellectual who modernized Argentinas conservative Catholic church.

Known until Wednesday as Jorge Bergoglio, the 76-year-old is known as a humble man who denied himself the luxuries that previous Buenos Aires cardinals enjoyed.

He came close to becoming pope last time, reportedly gaining the second-highest vote total in several rounds of voting before he bowed out of the running in the conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI.

Groups of supporters waved Argentine flags in St. Peters Square as Francis, wearing simple white robes, made his first public appearance as pope.

Ladies and Gentlemen, good evening, he said before making a reference to his roots in Latin America, which accounts for about 40% of the worlds Roman Catholics .

Bergoglio often rode the bus to work, cooked his own meals and regularly visited the slums that ring Argentinas capital. He considers social outreach, rather than doctrinal battles, to be the essential business of the church.

He accused fellow church leaders of hypocrisy and forgetting that Jesus Christ bathed lepers and ate with prostitutes.

Jesus teaches us another way: Go out. Go out and share your testimony, go out and interact with your brothers, go out and share, go out and ask. Become the Word in body as well as spirit, Bergoglio told Argentinas priests last year.

Bergoglios legacy as cardinal includes his efforts to repair the reputation of a church that lost many followers by failing to openly challenge Argentinas murderous 1976-83 dictatorship.

He also worked to recover the churchs traditional political influence in society, but his outspoken criticism of President Cristina Kirchner could not stop her from imposing socially liberal measures that are anathema to the church, from gay marriage and adoption to free contraceptives for all. Sky News

More here: Pope Francis: Profile Of New Catholic Leader

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