Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, was elected on Wednesday by the Vatican as the new Pope of the Catholic church. The new pope has chosen the papal name Pope Francis I.
Cardinal Bergoglio will become the first Jesuit and Latin American pope. According to statistics there are over 480 million Catholics in Latin America.
Pope Francis I has strong Evangelical beliefs. Pope Francis has Italian descent and studied in Germany.
Most Catholics believed the Vatican would elect a younger Cardinal as pope.
The new pope will replace Benedict XVI who resigned from his position this past month. Benedict XVI became the first pope to resign his position in six centuries. Benedict XVI cited his age, stress, and health issues as key factors for his resignation.
Benedict XVI was nominated at the age of 78 — an age when most priests retire.
Five Cardinals from the Americas were in consideration to become the next Pope. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, was in contention to become elected the next pope.
Father Richard Martini of Our Lady of Perpetual help said, “Like 34 percent of the Cardinals are from South America or developing countries from the Southern Hemisphere.”
Many Catholics believed the next pope will be facing several issues including whether to assimilate progressive values to the Catholic church.
Pope Francis I has held strong values against same-sex marriage and abortion.
Fr. Martini said, “Over the course of time you articulate the same truth [The “Holy Bible”] in different fashions. To say what he [Pope Francis] is he going to teach is it going to be suddenly new teachings? No. We [Catholic church] are going to continue teaching the tradition of the [Catholic] church and as it is taught it may be worded differently.”
Italian newspaper La Republica claim several Vatican members have been involved in homosexual acts with male prostitutes. This new scandal has many in the Catholic church re-thinking the clerical celibacy vow.
Fr. Martini said, “We [Catholic church] had that practice [allowing the priest to marry] for a thousand years and for a thousand years we asked our priests to remain celibate. I am not anticipating [eliminating the Clerical Celibacy vow] to be true.”