World Bulletin / News Desk
Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio became the new leader of the Catholic world on Wednesday as the 2,000-year-old Church confronts a time of great crisis.
Francis 1 must overcome crises caused by child abuse by priests and the leak of secret papal documents that uncovered corruption and rivalry inside the Church, trouble that Benedict declared in February was beyond his physical capabilities.
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, who two years ago accused the Vatican of hampering an inquiry into child sex abuse by Irish priests, summed up the thoughts of many.
"We pray that he will have the strength, the good health and the spiritual guidance needed to lead the Catholic Church in the many challenges it faces," Kenny said.
French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran on Wednesday stepped out onto the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica and said "Habemus Papam" ("We have a pope") and introduced the 266th pope.
Bergoglio received two-third of the votes of 115 cardinals and was elected as the new pope.
Bergoglio chose the name "Francis".
Others questioned whether Francis, the 76-year-old son of an Italian immigrant railway worker, was too old to lead a Church that needs to attract younger worshippers to fill emptying pews.
"I think they missed an opportunity to renew themselves: they've picked another old guy," said Daniel Villalpando, a 32-year-old web designer in Mexico City.
To some, that suggested that there would be a change of style rather than substance in the leadership of the Church.
"He's not going to be a big liberal, there will not be big changes in Church teaching," said Jesuit Father James Bretzke, professor of moral theology at Boston College.
"He has a reputation of being rather inflexible and staunchly conservative."
The 76-year-old new pope was elected as the pontiff of Buenos Aires in 1998 and was promoted to the rank of cardinal in 2001.
Bergoglio received education on philosophy, psychology and literature. He became a priest in 1969.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio is known for his modesty and simple life.
Pope Francis I became the second pope to receive the highest amount of votes after Pope Benedict XVI in 2005.
Following a brief silent prayer at the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis wished everyone good night and left the balcony.
Pope Francis is known with his views against abortion, euthanasia and gay marriages.
Pope Francis is famous with his distanced attitude towards the press and not giving interviews.
Pope Francis's name comes from St. Francis of Assisi who lived in the 13th century and was known as a person helping the poor.
The new pope will attend his first mass at the Sistine Chapel on Thursday.Last Mod: 14 Mart 2013, 09:29