Although he has given few interviews throughout his career, Bergoglio has spoken out against the secular ways of the Argentine government and Argentine society. In 2010 Bergoglio challenged the Argentine government when it backed a gay marriage bill.
Days before the bill went to Congress he wrote a letter saying, "Let's not be naive. This isn't a simple political fight, it's an attempt to destroy God's plan."
Now named Pope Francis I, he is the 266th pope in the Church’s 2,000-year history chosen by the 155 cardinals, leaders of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.
He is the first pope elected from the Americas. Speaking to the Associated Press, Franciscan friar Jose Antonio Cruz said, “It's a huge gift for all of Latin America. We waited 20 centuries. It was worth the wait...Everyone from Canada down to Patagonia is going to feel blessed.”
Pope Francis I is also the first pope in 2,000 years to take this name, after Saint Francis of Assisi. Vatican expert John Allen told CNN this choice of name is “stunning” and “precedent shattering.”
Most importantly the name symbolizes “poverty, humility, simplicity and rebuilding the Catholic Church.”
Allen added, “The new pope is sending a signal that this will not be business as usual.”
Pope Francis faces massive challenges as head of a Roman Catholic Church riddled with crisis and difficulty from the ongoing sexual abuse scandals to a leak of secret papal documents that reveal corruption and rivalry at the Vatican’s core, the Church’s government called the Curia.
The Associated Press has announced that Irish American Vice President Joe Biden will travel to Rome to witness the official installation of Pope Francis I as the head of the Catholic Church, which he believes may take place on Tuesday March 19th.
Here’s the Telegraph’s report on the first appearance of the new Pope Francis I: