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Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio: Profile of a Candidate for Pope

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Who is Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio?:

Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born on December 17, 1936, in Argentina.

Background and Early Life of Jorge Mario Bergoglio:

Jorge Mario Bergoglio is a member of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and was ordained in 1969. After just four years as priest he became head of all the Jesuits in Argentina. After studying in Germany, Bergoglio became bishop of Buenos Aires in 1992 and archbishop in 1998. In general he has avoided taking on high-ranking posts in various organizations.

Status of Jorge Mario Bergoglio:

Before being elected Pope Francis I, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Theology of Jorge Mario Bergoglio:

Jorge Mario Bergoglio is generally conservative in his theology and is believed to be close to Communion & Liberation, a doctrinally conservative movement that grew in power and numbers under the guidance of John Paul II.

Assessment of Jorge Mario Bergoglio:

Jorge Mario Bergoglio is a strong supporter of helping the poor. When he was made cardinal in 2001, he discouraged people from spending the money to fly to Rome to celebrate with him and advised that they instead donate the funds to help alleviate poverty at home. He lived in a simple apartment and cooks his own meals.

Bergoglio has not, however, spent a great deal of time preaching about social justice. He instead preached about the importance of spirituality and assumed that a correct understanding of God would naturally lead people to care more about the poor.

The strongest factor working against Bergoglio being elected pope was the fact that he is a Jesuit. This means Bergoglio is the first Jesuit pope despite the continued strong anti-Jesuit feelings within the Catholic church. Even some Jesuits have opposed the idea of one of their own rising to the office of pope.

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