Pope Francis is the 266th Pope
Jorge Mario Bergoglio (pronounced Ber-GOAL-io)—now known as Pope Francis—age 76, has been elected as the 266th pope of the Roman Catholic Church. This selection follows the resignation of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI. The new pontiff will be called Pope Francis. This marks the first time in papal history that the name, Francis, has been used. He is the first non-European pope in over 1,200 years. In his title, Pope Francis will not use the Roman numeral, ‘I,’ to denote “the first,” unlike a preceding pope, John Paul I, who decided himself to add the ‘I’ to his title. The new pope will be correctly referred to simply as Pope Francis.
First Jesuit Pope
The election of the archbishop of Buenos Aires, Bergoglio was an apt choice in that the bulk of the world’s Catholics currently reside in the Southern Hemisphere. As Bill Chappell of NPR mentions, the choice of the name, “Francis,” is seen as a gesture toward the Franciscans from Bergoglio, the first Jesuit to become pope. Vatican representative, Rev. Federico Lombardi, confirmed that the name refers to St. Francis of Assisi, founder of the Franciscan Order, often seen as the Jesuits’ traditional rivals.
Pope Has Dual Role
In his role as pope, Pope Francis is both the leader of the Catholic Church and the sovereign ruler of the Vatican City State.
Copyright Robert George Reoch