Tagged: Pope Francis

These 15 facts provide an overview of Pope Francis’s life, papacy, and major influences on the Roman Catholic Church and the wider world.

  1. Birth and Early Life: Pope Francis was born Jorge Mario Bergoglio on December 17, 1936, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Italian immigrant parents.
  2. Jesuit Background: In 1958, Bergoglio entered the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and was ordained a priest in 1969. He is the first Jesuit pope.
  3. Bishop and Cardinal: He became an auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires in 1992, its coadjutor archbishop in 1997, and archbishop in 1998. In 2001, Pope John Paul II named him a cardinal.
  4. Papal Election: Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected the 266th pope of the Roman Catholic Church on March 13, 2013, following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. He chose the name Francis in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi.
  5. Focus on the Poor: Pope Francis is known for his emphasis on aiding the poor, humility, and a simpler lifestyle, even as the leader of the Catholic Church.
  6. Noteworthy Encyclicals: He’s published significant documents like “Laudato si'” on the environment and climate change, and “Amoris laetitia” on family and marriage.
  7. Interfaith Dialogue: Pope Francis is known for promoting dialogue between different religious groups, including Muslims, Jews, and other Christian denominations.
  8. Views on Social Issues: He has adopted a more compassionate tone (compared to his predecessors) on issues like divorce, homosexuality, and the role of women in the church, though he maintains traditional church teachings.
  9. Reforms: He has initiated reforms in the Vatican bureaucracy and financial system. The establishment of the Council of Cardinal Advisers, often referred to as the C9, is one such significant step.
  10. Health: Pope Francis had a part of one lung removed in his early 20s due to a serious infection.
  11. Global Influence: TIME magazine named him its Person of the Year in 2013, recognizing his influence on global events and issues.
  12. Historic Visits: Pope Francis is known for his pastoral visits around the world, including regions that haven’t seen a pope in decades. Notably, he visited Iraq in 2021, becoming the first pope ever to visit the nation.
  13. Efforts for Peace: He played a crucial role in the restoration of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba in 2014.
  14. Synods: Pope Francis has convened synods (gatherings of bishops) on important issues like youth, the Amazon, and synodality, emphasizing the importance of listening to local churches.
  15. Sexual Abuse in the Church: He’s faced criticism but also acknowledgment for his efforts to address the sexual abuse crisis in the Church, including the establishment of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.