Roman Catholic Church names the 266th pope

by Emily Isola and Maria Pansulla
When white smoke poured out of the Vatican chimney, thousands of people gathered in Vatican square as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergiglio of Argentina was named the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church on March 13, replacing the retired Pope Benedict. Not only is he the first pope from the Americas, he is also the first pope from the Jesuit order and the first pope to choose the name Francis.

As archbishop and cardinal, Pope Francis lived in modest conditions and traveled around Buenos Aires by public transportation.
“Pope Francis is definitely a very humble man, which I think makes him different from previous popes.  His humility will translate to the Roman Catholic Church as a whole and hopefully start a new trend in the way our church in its entirety is viewed,” said senior Mary Van Natta.
Already Pope Francis has eschewed the traditional lavish papal quarters to live with other vatican clergy. He also rides in an open vehicle instead of the bulletproof popemobile.
“Every pope cares about helping the poor, so I don’t think his actions will be that different from the other popes,” said junior Austin Kwinta. “I sure hope that his cooperation with other leaders will
move the church  forward. The Vatican is set in its ways and some changes would be welcome.”
As society continues to progress when it comes to controversial ideas such as abortion and gay marriage, the church continues to hold to its conservative views. Pope Francis’s refusal to acknowledge gay marriage and abortion rights makes him unpopular with the growing community of liberal Catholics.
“I don’t agree with his refusal to accept change because gay marriage and abortion are becoming more and more accepted, and the pope should try to become more current with his beliefs,” said sophomore Madeline McNichol.
In 2005, the last time a pope was chosen, Cardinal Bergiglio obtained the second largest number of votes. His popularity among leaders of the Catholic faith leads many people to believe that he will help smooth over the sexual-abuse scandals plaguing the church and work to establish a greater and stronger following in the worldwide Catholic community.