The Catholic Church has elected a new pope, Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio after the voluntary resignation of the former Pope Benedict XVI. This was an unexpected election because a pope has not resigned since Pope Gregory XII in 1415 or if you want a more exact number…in about 598 years.
Cardinal Jorge has chosen to lead as Pope Francis I and he will be unique for a variety of reasons. For starters, originally being from Argentina this makes him the first non-European pope in over 1,200 years and he is also the first Jesuit representative to lead the church.
While information is still emerging about the new Catholic leader, many are inferring that one of his main goals will be to focus strongly on the Catholic churches consistent fight on poverty. One of the main indicators of this is fact that the former Cardinal chose his papal name after Saint Francis Assisi.
Saint Francis Assisi is admired by many Catholics for giving up his lavish lifestyle, life of sin, and foregoing all his personal possessions in order to begin preaching eventually building the Franciscan Order. His personal attributes are also a indicator of his emphasis on equality and austerity because he did not receive the Cardinals on the papal throne after he was elected as pope and he rode by bus with all the rest of the cardinals back to their lodgings. He was even pictured paying for the hotel bill himself.
Pope Francis I desires a “poor church for the poor” and he has even expressed desire to reform the church even further completely changing the government of the Vatican. Many Catholics are waiting with baited breath to see what this new 76 year old pope will accomplish and achieve, but this will only be revealed in time.