Francis I (born Jorge Bergoglio) is the 266th and current Pope of the Catholic Church, elected on March 13, 2013. As such, he is Bishop of Rome, the head of the worldwide Catholic Church and sovereign of Vatican City. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina of Italian descent, Bergoglio became cardinal in 2001. Following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, the papal conclave elected Bergoglio, who chose the papal name Francis in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi. He is the first Jesuit pope, the first from the Americas and the first from the Southern Hemisphere.
Before his election, Bergoglio was considered one of the most conservative cardinals, expressing strong opposition to homosexuality, same-sex marriage, LGBT adoption, contraceptives, abortion and euthanasia. My hope is that, in addition to his unprecedented name choice and humble refusal to stand on an elevated platform, Francis continues to be a pontiff of firsts and break other archaic traditions for the betterment of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics and all seven billion humans on this small planet.