Sixteen facts about Pope Francis 1

Pope Francis

The new Pope has lived for more than 20 years with only one lung.

The new head of the 1.2 billion-member Catholic Church is Pope Francis the first. He was elected on Wednesday at the end of the conclave of 115 cardinals.

Below are 16 facts about the new pope.

1. His real name is Jorge Mario Bergoglio

2. He is 76-years-old

3. He is an Argentinean

4. He is the first Jesuit priest to become Pope

5. He is the first Latin American to become Pope

6. He was the runner-up during the last conclave that elected Pope
Emeritus Benedict XVI

7. He is a conservative known for his strong anti-gay stance. In 2010 he described homosexuality as a “destructive attack on God’s plan.” He was a fierce opponent of Argentina’s decision to legalise gay marriage in 2010, arguing children need to have the right to be raised and educated by a father and a mother.

8. Though conservative, he has criticised priests who refuse to baptize babies born to single mothers

9. He also believes condom can be permissible to prevent disease

10. He is well known for his austere outlook to life. He is famed for taking a bus to work every day in his native Argentina, giving up his driver and official limousine

11. His austere outlook towards life explains his choice of Francis as his papal name. Francis Assisi, who he is named after, is a popular Catholic saint who lived humbly and gave possession away to the poor

12. When he was made a cardinal, he persuaded hundreds of Argentineans not to fly to Rome to celebrate with him but instead to give the money they would have spent on plane tickets to the poor

13. In 2001, during a visit to a hospice, he washed and kissed the feet of 12 AIDS patients

14. He is respected for his intellectual prowess

15. He is an anti-corruption crusader. He has also accused Argentina’s government of not doing enough to eradicate poverty

16. He has lived since age 20 with one functioning lung. His other lung was removed because of infection.

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