A new pope has been elected: Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires in Argentina. He is the first non-European elected to that office in over 1000 years. He will be the 266th person to hold that office. He is taking the name of Francis (the proper form being Francis, not Francis I, as I posted earlier, since the first of that name is not given a number until there are others that need to be distinguished from each other).
I can’t believe that there has been no other pope named Francis, St. Francis being such a notable saint. (See this for the possible significance of the name.) At any rate, the election of this first South American pontiff is surely something of a surprise. The top prospect lists of prospective popes that I saw earlier didn’t mention him. I did find one that did, which I’ll quote after the jump, along with a video of Pope Francis.
CARDINAL JORGE MARIO BERGOGLIO: Bergoglio, 76, has spent nearly his entire career at home in Argentina, overseeing churches and shoe-leather priests. The archbishop of Buenos Aires reportedly got the second-most votes after Joseph Ratzinger in the 2005 papal election, and he has long specialized in the kind of pastoral work that some say is an essential skill for the next pope. In a lifetime of teaching and leading priests in Latin America, which has the largest share of the world’s Catholics, Bergoglio has shown a keen political sensibility as well as the kind of self-effacing humility that fellow cardinals value highly. Bergoglio is known for modernizing an Argentine church that had been among the most conservative in Latin America.