November 20, 2014 20:41 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

  • Audio Myanmar: No Constitutional Change Before 2015 Election

    Parliament speaker says voters will be able to take part in a referendum, or special election, on constitutional changes in May. But he said it would be impossible for any changes to take effect immediately. Myanmar’s constitution currently bars Aung San Suu Kyi from becoming president. More

  • France's President Francois Hollande delivers an address at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, Nov. 19, 2014.

    Audio France to Increase Airstrikes Against IS Militants

    The French Defense Minister said the fighter jets will be based in Jordan. Also, Pope Francis condemns the synagogue attack in Jerusalem, Ukraine rejects Russia’s proposal for talks, the World Bank says Ebola may cost West Africa less than expected, and a deadly snow storm hits New York. More

  • President Barack Obama says he will address the nation to lay out the executive actions he’s taking to fix "our broken immigration system", Nov. 19, 1014.

    Video Obama to Announce Executive Order on Immigration

    President Obama soon is expected to announce his decision on what to do with millions of undocumented immigrants. These migrants left their home countries and entered the United States illegally. The president is expected to approve an executive order that would save them from being sent home. More

  • FILE - Turkish soldiers stand guard as Syrians wait behind border fences near the southeastern town of Suruc, Sanliurfa province, Sept. 2014.

    Audio Study Finds Rising Xenophobia in Turkey

    Xenophobia is the dislike or fear of foreigners. The Pew Research Center found the increase at a time when Turkey faces war on its borders. The country also has unsettled diplomatic relations with some of neighbors and allies. History and education play a part in this rising fear and dislike. More

  • The controversial cover a new Vietnamese law book featuring the face of a comedian.

    Audio Vietnam Removes Law Book with 'Justice' on the Cover

    A state-owned publisher in Vietnam has withdrawn hundreds of law books because of protests over the book’s cover. The cover of the book features a digitally changed image of a man without clothing holding the scales of justice. The book’s cover went viral recently on social media networks. More

Featured Stories

  • A line from Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address is displayed at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.

    Audio Lincoln's Words at Gettysburg Still Have Meaning

    On November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln said no one would remember his speech at a battlefield cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. But Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address remains one of the most important speeches in U.S. history. More

  • PLASTIC DREAMS

    Audio Surgery Safaris: Looking for the Perfect Body

    Many people these days are going as far as South Africa to get their version of perfection. People from across Africa and the world come for so-called “surgery safaris.” There are no animals to see on these safaris. The visitors instead look for smaller stomachs, firmer bottoms or perhaps new eye. More

  • Video South Korea Attempting to Reuse More E-Waste

    South Korea is dealing with increasing amounts of waste from electronic devices. These useless or unwanted parts are often called “e-waste.” . The city of Seoul throws out about 10 tons of e-waste each year. Some local governments in South Korea are creating special "e-waste" recycling programs. More

  • FILE - Brittany Maynard, shown with her Great Dane puppy, Charlie, took a lethal dose of medication prescribed by a doctor in Oregon on Saturday. Maynard was battling brain cancer.

    Video Should You Have the Right to Die?

    The recent case of a 29 year old woman with brain cancer has again raised questions about the right to die. Americans are divided on whether doctors should be able to give deathly sick patients drugs to end their lives. Only four U.S states permit doctor, or physician, assisted suicide. More

  • Video Taylor Swift, Beyonce Top Music and Money Lists

    Swift's new album is on top of Billboard Magazine’s top two hundred albums list for a second week. Forbes Magazine also reported Swift is the second highest earning woman in music. Beyonce Knowles is number one on that yearly list and Forbes also named her the top earning celebrity. More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner BlogConfessions of an English Learner Blog

Tell us About Our Programs