Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected Pope by the papal conclave in 2013, after his predecessor, Pope Benedict, resigned. He chose his papal name in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi.
He was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1936. He became the Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998, and was created a Cardinal in 2001. Francis is the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church, in which capacity he is Bishop of Rome and absolute Sovereign of the Vatican City State. He the first Jesuit Pope, the first Pope from the Americas, and the first non-European Pope since Pope Gregory III in 741. Pope Francis has been noted for his humility, his concern for the poor.
Pope Francis has backed German Chancellor Angela Merkel's fight against climate change during a private audience in the Vatican. The pope also welcomed Merkel's decision to emphasize Africa at the upcoming G20 summit.
After a bus carrying Christians to a monastery was attacked by masked gunmen, Egypt has launched airstrikes against militant bases in Libya. Pope Francis called the attack on the Christians a senseless act of hatred.
Pope Francis will be in Fátima at the weekend, Portugal’s only pilgrimage site. The Virgin Mary was apparently sighted here 100 years ago, and this visit marks the anniversary. Fátima’s tourism industry is booming, with 7 million visitors in the past year. It’s the economic driving force behind the entire region.
Pope Francis is hoping to revive Muslim-Christian dialogue and show solidarity with the Coptic community during a visit to Cairo. The Egyptian government is using the trip to polish its image. Martin Gehlen reports.