A Jesuit cardinal from Buenos Aires is the new pope.
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, the son of an Italian railway worker, becomes the first Jesuit and first South American pontiff, according to news reports.
He has taken the name Francis, another first.
"Hopeful about him because he is a Jesuit," said Campbell resident Joe Hernandez on the Campbell Patch Facebook page. "Jesuits have a history as educators, free thinkers and a bit of a rebel streak within the church."
The London Guardian and National Catholic Reporter described Bergoglio as a Jesuit intellectual who travels by bus, cooks his own meals and lives simply. After being appointed cardinal in 2001, "Bergoglio persuaded hundreds of Argentinians not to fly to Rome to celebrate with him but instead to give the money they would have spent on plane tickets to the poor," the Guardian said.
He also strongly opposed Argentina's decision to legalize gay marriage, saying children should be raised by a father and a mother.
He originally planned to be a chemist, but began studying for the priesthood in 1958, according to the National Catholic Reporter.
In addition to his advocacy for the poor, Bergoglio believes in contraception to prevent the spread of disease, faces no questions over abuse scandals and would reform the Vatican Curia, according to the Guardian.
Shortly after Francis addressed the crowd at St. Peter's Square, the Vatican issued a tweet via its papal Twitter account. It said in Latin, "HABEMUS PAPAM FRANCISCUM," which translates roughly as "We have Pope Francis," according to the Los Angeles Times.
"I think it's great that there is finally a wider world view," said Campbell resident Linda Belli Bargas on the Campbell Patch Facebook page. "Though I heard that he is from Germany, now living in Argentina. So, is he REALLY a non-European?"
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