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Top Things You Should Know About Your New Pope, Jorge Mario Bergolio… Or Just Francis

Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

A new pope has been ‘crowned’ or maybe the proper word is appointed… Jorge Mario Bergolio chose ‘Francis’ as his new name after St. Francis of Assisi. He’s from the Americas, Argentina to be exact and here are a few more facts about your new pontiff:


#1.)  It took the conclave 24 hours and five votes, and the pick was a bit of a surprise:  He’s the first non-European pope in over 1,000 years, and the first EVER from the Americas. The odds at various sportsbooks had him at around 33-to-one.  And THAT’S a surprise in and of itself . . . since he was the runner-up in the LAST Papal race, in 2005.

#2.)  At 76, he’s two years younger than POPE BENEDICT THE SIXTEENTH was when he took the reins in 2005, and 18 years OLDER than POPE JOHN PAUL THE SECOND when HE became pope in 1978.

#3.)  He picked “Francis” after ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI.  And a Vatican spokesman says they both, quote, “have a special place in their heart for the poor, the disenfranchised, for those living on the fringes and facing injustice.”

#4.)  If you’re wondering how anti-gay he is, the answer is . . . VERY.  When Argentina legalized gay marriage three years ago, he called it, quote, “a scheme to destroy God’s plan.” And he called gay adoption, quote, “discrimination against children . . . depriving [them] of the human growth that God wanted them given by a father and a mother.” All 117 cardinals at the conclave were appointed by POPE JOHN PAUL THE SECOND or POPE BENEDICT THE SIXTEENTH, so there wasn’t really a shot at anything BUT a very socially conservative, Biblically strict, old school pope.

#5.)  He IS considered to be a strong leader though, and the Church is counting on him to get them past all the scandals they’ve had in the past few decades.

#6.)  He only has one lung.  He had the other one removed when he was a teenager, because of an infection.  And since he’s been fine since then, his health isn’t one of the overall concerns.

Next: Some Papal Humor!

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