On March 13, 2013 Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires became the 266th pope, set to lead 1.2 billion Roman Catholics word wide. Cardinal Bergoglio chose the name Francis, in honor of St. Francis of Assisi.
Pope Francis, the first pope from South America, has made a mark on the world not only as champion of the poor, but as a humble man that eschews formality preferring the human touch. He eagerly delves into world problems so to interject his humane thinking while willing to change the status quo of one of the world’s most rigid institutions. Time magazine name him Person of the Year in 2013. And Latin America, where 40 percent of the world’s Catholics reside, take great pride in their native son.
Pope Francis was archbishop of Buenos Aires starting in 1998 and ascended to cardinal in 2001. Since 2013 the Pope has traveled the world meeting his flock and making a difference.
The following is a list of some of his most notable accomplishments:
* Pope met with gay community members, inviting them to church
* Speaks about dangers of global warming and climate change if ignored
* Met with Catholic Church abuse victims and asked for forgiveness
* Allowed priests to forgive women who committed the “sin of abortion”
* Help improved U.S.-Cuban relations whereby the U.S. reopened its embassy in Havana
* Reduced the bureaucracy for marital annulments
* Credited with saving Colombia’s peace deal with FARC guerrillas
* Stated he is open to married men becoming priest
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