The First Latino Pope Has Been Announced

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio is named the new popeCardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, has been named the next pope and has taken the name Francis I. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Bergoglio is a member of the Jesuit order, the Society of Jesus, which is the largest order of Catholic priests worldwide.

This is the first time that a Jesuit has been selected as pope and also the first non-European pope since the 8th Century.

Although the Cardinal is older than expected, he has been known as one of the more conservative Catholics in South America, for instance speaking out against abortion, same-sex marriage and even same-sex adoption. However, he has been noted for his focus on poverty and the poor.

The selection of a pope from Argentina is important since about 40 percent of the world’s Catholics live in Latin America. The top two countries with the most Catholics are Brazil and Mexico.

The fact that many people in Latin America have been converting to Protestantism, Episcopalianism and becoming Charismatics, this might be a sign to them to revert back to the church and rebuild their relationships with the Catholic faith.