October 13, 2015 21:19 UTC

In the News

Pope Francis Represents Firsts for Catholics

Pope Francis is the first from the Americas and the first Jesuit.

Pope Francis appearing after he was first elected Pope.
Pope Francis appearing after he was first elected Pope.


Play or download an MP3 of this story
From VOA Learning English, this is IN THE NEWS in Special English.
Former Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio has become the first Latin American to be elected leader of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church.  
At least 77 of the Catholic Church’s 115 cardinals chose the new Pope during a vote in the Vatican in Rome. The new leader, called Pope Francis, later joked to the public that the cardinals went almost to the end of the earth to find a new Pope.
He follows Pope Emeritus Benedict in office. The former pope resigned the position because, at age 85, he said he lacked the strength to continue his work.
On Thursday, Pope Francis led his first Mass as Pope for the cardinals who elected him. He urged them to remain faithful to the Gospel, the teachings of those who follow Jesus Christ, and avoid modern desires.  
Pope Francis was born Jorge Mario Bergolio in Buenos Aires, Argentina on December 17, 1936 to immigrant Italian parents. In 1960 he earned a philosophy degree from the Catholic University in Buenos Aires. Later he received a master’s degree in chemistry at the University of Buenos Aires. He officially became a priest in 1969. For many years he taught in Catholic schools and schools for priests-in-training. Pope Francis became the new Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998. He was made a cardinal by Pope John Paul Second in February of 2001.
Pope Francis is known for his conservative beliefs. Argentina became the first Latin American country to make same-sex marriage legal in 2010. At that time, he called on priests across the nation to urge Catholics to protest. He said the legislation would be harmful to the family. But, even though he opposes homosexuality, he has called for respect toward people who love others of the same sex.
As a priest and cardinal, Pope Francis also became known for his simple lifestyle, personal humility and commitment to social justice.
Pope Francis is the first Jesuit to be elected to lead the church. Jesuits are known for their commitment to the poor.
Catholic Church expert Father Thomas Reese says Pope Francis rose through church leadership in Argentina while continuing a simple life.
"He takes his vow of poverty very seriously. He refused to live in the Bishop's palace, he moved to a very simple apartment, cooked his own meals and he didn't want the chauffeur-driven limousine that the bishop normally had."
This week, after holding his first Mass, the new Pope requested guards to take him to the hotel where he was staying so he could pay his bill and collect his suitcases.
The former Cardinal Bergolio is the first to choose Francis as his papal name. In doing so, Pope Francis has linked himself with the 13th century Italian priest who led his life in poverty, the man who became known as Saint Francis of Assisi.
Next week, the new Pope will be officially installed.
This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Learn with The News

  • Garment workers rest inside a factory after their lunch time in Phnom Penh, Oct. 8, 2015. Cambodia agreed on Thursday to raise the minimum wage for workers in its crucial textiles and footwear sector to $140 per month from next year.

    Audio Cambodian Garment Workers to Earn $140 a Month

    Making clothing in Cambodia is the largest industry in the country. Last week, the government announced an increase in pay for workers who make clothing. Manufacturers wanted a lower wage but the prime minister raised the minimum wage to $140 a month. Some unions are asking for a higher rate. More

  • Millennials can balance a lot of information.  But, according to a new study, they give it superficial attention and are easily distracted.

    Audio Career Advice for Millennials from Robots

    A new book suggests that Millennials will work side-by-side with robot coworkers. Millennials should bring to the job what the robots cannot. More

  • Audio Will Cricket Score Points with Americans?

    Former cricket umpire Dickie Bird rings the bell at Lord's cricket ground in London in May 2015. But do Americans know him or other famous cricketers? Two teams are coming to three US cities in November. They will be led by well-known players Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne. | As It Is More

  • Video Cambodian Farmers Plant Less Rice, More Organic Vegetables

    Experts are urging Cambodian farmers to diversify their crops. Most farmers in Cambodia grow rice. Many also may grow cassava and maize. But very few farmers in the country grow other vegetables. And more Cambodians are demanding organic produce. More

  • Britain's Prince Andrew, second left, holds a solar lamp as students and teachers look on during his visit to H.R. College of Commerce and Economics in Mumbai, India (file photo – 09 Mar. 2010)

    Audio India to Promote Use of Solar Energy

    Hundreds of villages in rural areas of India use clean energy now, instead of pollution-producing kerosene-powered lamps. But will a rise in energy produced from coal increase greenhouse gases? | As It Is More

Featured Stories

  • Audio Bernie Sanders: Giving Hillary Clinton a Run for her Money

    Who is the man disrupting the “coronation” of Hillary Clinton as the Democratic Party nominee for president? Who is Bernie Sanders? He is a self-described “democratic socialist,” who is filling large halls and stadiums with people who are drawn to his message. More

  • Audio Weasel, Duck, Dog: Animals That Are Also Verbs

    Enough horsing around! We finally stop floundering and deliver this week's program, even though it means scapegoating one of our own. Don't be cowed by the topic: these words are fun and will not outfox you. More

  • Audio Everyday Grammar: When Nouns Act Like Adjectives

    English speakers usually modify a noun with an adjective. Today the Everyday Grammar team looks at the times English speakers modify a noun with another noun. Learn how to say and write them correctly in this episode. More

  • Video A Taste of Japan at the ‘Grand Sake Tasting’

    Jasmine Taylor pours sake at the Grand Sake Tasting in Washington, D.C. Japanese music played while people drank rice wine and ate traditional food. This celebration raised money for the National Cherry Blossom Festival. More

  • Video Who Goes to a Rock Concert With Their Mother? Millennials!

    When musicians over the age of 50 are the star performers, you expect to see many Baby Boomers cheering them on. Aging rock music stars usually have Baby Boomer fans. Younger rock stars are more likely to appeal to Millennials. But at the Lockn' Music festival, two generations came together. More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner
Confessions of an English Learner blog

Tell us About Our Programs