Pope Francis I: Key facts about the new pontiff

Mar 14, 2013, 17:05 IST | Fatema Pittalwala

Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, walks onto the St Peter's Balcony as Pope Francis I; the first non-European Pontiff of the church in more than 1,000 years as well as the first Jesuit leader.

Here are some key facts about the first South American Pope elected.

Pope Francis I

Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Dec. 17, 1936. He has four brothers and sisters. His father was an Italian immigrant and railway worker, and his mother was a housewife. As a teenager his one lung got infected and it had to be removed.

Pope Francis I as the Archbishop of Buenos Aires

Prior to becoming Supreme Pontiff, he had been Archbishop of Buenos Aires since 1998, and a cardinal since 2001. At the age of 21 he started studying to become a Jesuit priest. Before becoming Archbishop he taught literature, philosophy, theology, and psychology. He also has a philosophy degree and a master’s degree in chemistry.

The new pope is a fan of San Lorenzo football club

The new pope, is an avid a fan of San Lorenzo, one of Argentina's top clubs. As the Archbishop of Buenos Aires he turned down the opportunity to live in the palatial Archbishop’s residence, opting for a simple apartment instead. He cooks his meals and prefers taking the bus.

Couldn't prevent same-sex marriage in Argentina

Couldn’t prevent Argentina from becoming the first Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage or stop its president, Cristina Fernandez, from promoting free contraception and artificial insemination.

Pope Francis I walks on to the balcony to give his first blessing

Shortly before the 2005 Conclave that ultimately Pope Benedict XVI, a human rights lawyer filed a criminal complaint against Bergoglio, accusing him of having been complicit in the 1976 kidnappings of two priests, Orlando Yorio and Francisco Jalics, by Argentina’s military dictatorship. Bergoglio completely denied the claim.

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