Vatican City - At 7:08 PM on March 13, white
smoke from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel announced that
the cardinals had elected a new Pope. About one hour
later, the Cardinal protodeacon announced that the new successor of
St. Peter is Cardinal Jorge María Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos
Aires, and that he chose the name Francis. He began
his greeting by saying, “Brothers and sisters, good evening. You
all know that the duty of the Conclave was to
give a bishop to Rome. It seems that my brother
Cardinals have come almost to the ends of the earth
to get him… but here we are.”
After leading the
people in praying for the Bishop Emeritus of Rome, Benedict
XVI, he added, “And now let us begin this journey,
the Bishop and people, this journey of the Church of
Rome which presides in charity over all the Churches, a
journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us
always pray for one another. Let us pray for the
whole world that there might be a great sense of
brotherhood. My hope is that this journey of the Church
that we begin today, together with help of my Cardinal
Vicar, be fruitful for the evangelization of this beautiful city.”
Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J., Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, (also
Ordinary for Eastern-rite faithful in Argentina, who lack an Ordinary
of their own rite), was born on 17 December 1936
in Buenos Aires. He holds a degree as a chemical
technician, but after his studies, he chose the priesthood and
entered the seminary of Villa Devoto. On 11 March 1958
he moved to the novitiate of the Company of Jesus
in Chile, where he finished studies in humanities. In 1963,
on returning to Buenos Aires, he obtained a degree in
philosophy at the St. Joseph major seminary of San Miguel.
1964 and 1965 he taught literature and psychology at the
Immacolata College in Santa Fe, and in 1966 he taught
the same subjects at the University of El Salvador in
From 1967 to 1970 he studied theology at
the St. Joseph major seminary of San Miguel, where he
obtained a degree. On 13 December 1969 he was ordained
a priest. From 1970 to 1971 he completed the third
probation at Alcala de Henares, Spain, and on 22 April
1973, pronounced his perpetual vows.
He was novice master at Villa
Varilari in San Miguel from 1972 to 1973, where he
also taught theology. On 31 July 1973 he was elected
as Provincial for Argentina, a role he filled for six
From 1980 to 1986 he was rector of the Philosophical
and Theological Faculty of San Miguel, as well as pastor
of the Patriarca San Jose parish in the Diocese of
San Miguel. In March of 1986 he went to Germany
to finish his doctoral thesis. The superiors then sent him
to the University of El Salvador and then to Cordoba,
where he served as a confessor and spiritual director.
May 1992, John Paul II appointed him titular Bishop of
Auca and Auxiliary of Buenos Aires. He received episcopal consecration
in the Cathedral of Buenos Aires from Cardinal Antonio Quarracino,
Apostolic Nuncio Ubaldo Calabresi, and Bishop Emilio Ognenovich of Mercedes-Lujan
on 27 June of that year.
On 3 June 1997 he
was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Buenos Aires and succeeded Cardinal
Antonio Quarracino on 28 February 1998.
He was Adjunct Relator General
of the 10th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of
Bishops, October 2001.
He served as President of the Bishops´ Conference
of Argentina from 8 November 2005 until 8 November 2011.
was created and proclaimed Cardinal by Blessed John Paul II
in the consistory of 21 February 2001, of the Title
of S. Roberto Bellarmino (St. Robert Bellarmine).
He was a member
of: The Congregations for Divine Worship and Discipline of the
Sacraments; for the Clergy; for Institutes of Consecrated Life and
Societies of Apostolic Life; the Pontifical Council for the Family;
and the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.