February 28, 2015 01:56 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.

Multimedia

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.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Learn with The News

  • FILE - In this undated file image posted on Monday, June 30, 2014, by the Raqqa Media Center of the Islamic State group, a Syrian opposition group, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, fighters from the al-Qaida-linked Islami

    Audio Growing Support in US for Campaign Against Islamic State

    The Pew Research Center has released a new public opinion survey. It shows a growing number of Americans support the military campaign against the group known as Islamic State. Americans also increasingly support the idea of sending U.S. ground troops to fight the group in Iraq and Syria. More

  • Video US West Coast Ports Working Again

    A labor dispute had slowed operations at more than 29 ports on the West Coast of the United States. Negotiators reached a deal that permitted work to restart. But, they are still working on details of the agreement. The work stoppage has slowed U.S. trade with Asian countries. More

  • lahore literary festival

    Video Pakistan Literary Festival Stands Up to Violence

    The Pakistani city of Lahore recently held a three-day literary festival. The event looked a lot like literary festivals in many other cities. But for some Pakistanis, its importance went beyond works of poetry and prose. For them, the show symbolized a fight against violent extremism. More

  • Kurdish fighters

    Audio Islamic State Kidnaps More than 200 Assyrian Christians

    Also, news reports say the Islamic State militant who appeared under face cover in several videos of hostage beheadings has been identified by his friends. And, the US Navy says it is now flying its most advanced surveillance aircraft over the South China Sea. More

  • Video Pakistan Tightens School Security after Peshawar Attack

    More than 150 people, mostly children, were killed in the attack at a school in Peshawar last year. Pakistan authority tightens security to protect the schools. One method is to train teachers at Peshawar’s Frontier College for Women in a week-long class on using weapons. More

Featured Stories

  • Audio Young Writer’s Plays Explore Race, Identity in America

    Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' latest play 'An Octoroon,' is showing at a theater in New York City. It is based on a 19th Century work by Dion Boucicault. It tells about a white man who falls in love with a woman who is part black. At the time, mixed race marriage was banned in southern US states. More

  • Audio Understanding the Misunderstood Teenage Brain

    A common battle cry of teenagers to adults is, "You just don't understand me!" Well, they might be right. A brain scientist (neuroscientist) and mother to two teenagers says the teenage brain is quite different from the adult brain. She "debunks," or clears up three common myths about teenagers. More

  • Audio Politics Share the Stage at the Oscars

    Racial equality was not the only political or disputed issue performers discussed last night. Some used their acceptances speeches to talk about immigration, women’s rights, illness, suicide and government surveillance. And the movie of an American sniper continues to fuel the debate. More

  • Video Technology Increases Chances of Surviving Aneurym

    Each year, half a million people die from brain aneurysms, -- when a blood vessel burst in the brain. For survivors, physical disabilities are often servere. They may include memory problems, loss of balance, trouble speaking and even blindness. But new technologies are increasing survival rates. More

  • Director Alejandro Inarritu accepts the Oscar for Best Director for his film "Birdman" at the 87th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California, Feb. 22, 2015.

    'Birdman' Takes Oscars for Best Picture, Director

    The movie won four Academy Awards in all. 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' also earned four Oscars. The Best Actress award went to Julianne Moore for 'Still Alice' and Eddie Redmayne was honored with the Best Actor Oscar for his work in 'The Theory of Everything.' 'Whiplash' took home three Oscars. More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner blog
Confessions of an English Learner blog

 

 

 

Tell us About Our Programs