new pope, first from S america
Jorge Mario Bergoglio is the first Jesuit pope who has spent nearly his entire career at home in Argentina overseeing churches and shoe-leather...
Jorge Mario Bergoglio is the first Jesuit pope who has spent nearly his entire career at home in Argentina overseeing churches and shoe-leather priests. Bergoglio, 76, 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, says his official biographer, Sergio Rubin. Bergoglio would likely encourage the church's 400,000 priests to hit the streets to capture more souls, Rubin said in an Associated Press interview. He is also most comfortable taking a low profile, and his personal style is the antithesis of Vatican splendour. "It's a very curious thing: When bishops meet, he always wants to sit in the back rows. This sense of humility is very well seen in Rome," Rubin said. Bergoglio is known for modernizing an Argentine church that had been among the most conservative in Latin America, Leonardo Sandri, 69, left for Rome at 27 and never came back to stay in Argentina. Initially trained as a canon lawyer, he reached the No. 3 spot in the church's hierarchy under Pope John Paul II, the zenith of a long career in the Vatican's diplomatic service ranging from Africa to Mexico to Washington. As substitute secretary of state for seven years, he essentially served as the pope's chief of staff, running the central office at the heart of the Vatican bureaucracy known as the Curia. A "It's hard to find somebody in church circles who doesn't like Sandri. Granted, few might describe him as 'charismatic,' but he's almost universally seen as warm, open and possessing a lively sense of humor," Vatican analyst John Allen wrote in the National Catholic Reporter. "Personal relationships are all-important, and Sandri has a lot of friends."