- Born: Dec. 17, 1936, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
- One of five children of an Italian immigrant and railway worker.
- Originally planned to be chemist.
- Ordained a Jesuit priest on Dec. 13, 1969.
- Taught literature, psychology, and philosophy
- Served as Jesuit provincial in Argentina from 1973-1979
- Ordained titular bishop of Auca and auxiliary of Buenos Aires on June 27, 1992.
- Became archbishop of Buenos Aires on Feb. 28, 1998.
- Received title ordinary for the Eastern-rite faithful in Argentina who lack an ordinary in their own rite on Nov. 30, 1998.
- Proclaimed cardinal by Pope John Paul II on Feb. 21, 2001.
- Pope Francis on March 13, 2013
A Few Facts
- Never lived in the ornate church mansion in Buenos Aires, preferring a simple bed in a downtown room heated by a small stove. For years, he took public transportation around the city.
- Speaks Spanish, Italian, German and some English
- Had a lung removed due to infection when he was a teenager.
- Reportedly received the second-most votes after Joseph Ratzinger in the 2005 papal election.
In His Words
"We need to avoid the spiritual sickness of a Church that is wrapped up in its own world: when a Church becomes like this, it grows sick. It is true that going out onto the street implies the risk of accidents happening, as they would to any ordinary man or woman. But is the Church stays wrapped up in itself, it will age. And if I had to choose between a wounded Church that goes out onto the streets and a sick withdrawn Church, I would definitely choose the first one.”
(Vatican Insider 2/24/2012 http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/inquiries-and-interviews/detail/articolo/america-latina-latin-america-america-latina-12945/)
"Our certainties can become a wall, a jail that imprisons the Holy Spirit. Those who isolate their conscience from the path of the people of God don’t know the joy of the Holy Spirit that sustains hope. That is the risk run by the isolated conscience. Of those who from the closed world of their Tarsis complain about everything or, feeling their identity threatened, launch themselves into battles only in the end to be still more self-concerned and self-referential."
(Interview with Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio by Sefania Falasca 30 Days (11), 2007 http://www.30giorni.it/articoli_id_16457_l3.htm)