The first Pope of the Americas hails from Argentina. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, was elected the 266th pope on March 13, 2013 and took the name Pope Francis.

The Jesuit Archbishop of Buenos Aires is a prominent figure throughout the continent, yet remains a simple pastor who is deeply loved by his diocese, throughout which he has traveled extensively on the underground and by bus during the 15 years of his episcopal ministry.

“My people are poor and I am one of them”, he has said more than once, explaining his decision to live in an apartment and cook his own supper. He has always advised his priests to show mercy and apostolic courage and to keep their doors open to everyone. The worst thing that could happen to the Church, he has said on various occasions, “is what de Lubac called spiritual worldliness”, which means, “being self-centred”. And when he speaks of social justice, he calls people first of all to pick up the Catechism, to rediscover the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes. His project is simple: if you follow Christ, you understand that “trampling upon a person’s dignity is a serious sin.”

Pope Francis issued an encyclical titled Laudato Si’ which teaches about the need for a human ecology. To learn more about Laudato Si’ click here.

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Church Teachings on the Pope from the Catechism of the Catholic Church

“When Christ instituted the Twelve he constituted them in the form of a college or a permanent assembly, at the head of which he placed Peter, chosen from among them. Just as by the Lord’s institution, St. Peter and the rest of the apostles constitute a single apostolic college, so in like fashion the Roman Pontiff, Peter’s successor and the bishops, the successors of the apostles, are related with and united to one another.” #880

“The Lord made Simon alone, whom he named Peter, the ‘rock’ of his Church. He gave him the keys of his Church and instituted him shepherd of the whole flock. The office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter was also assigned to the college of apostles united to its head. This pastoral office of the Peter and the other apostles belongs to the Church’s very foundation and is continued by the bishops under the primacy of the pope.” #881