Amidst heavy rains in Vatican City came these Latin words: “Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum. Habemus Papam” (“I announce to you a great joy. We have a pope”

It’s official.

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, not an odds-on favorite among the bookies in Rome or Jerusalem or Las Vegas, was elected to lead the Roman Catholic Church and the 1.2 billion humans who identify as Roman Catholic. He said he would take the name Francis I; it is unclear if he has ever visited the Italian town of Assisi, or if he is named for Saint Francis.

Pope Francis the First, 76, will be the 266th pontiff in the Church’s 2,000-year history. He is a conservative (in terms of Roman Catholics, I am not saying he went to JTS) but he is perceived as a reformer. Bergoglio, the runner-up in the 2005 papal conclave that crowned Pope Benedict XVI, will be the first non-European pope in 1200 years and the first Jesuit to become a pope. He is said to have nearly been named pope but bowed out in favor of Cardinal Ratzinger.

He is known for his humble lifestyle in Argentina. He takes the bus, having given up his car; resides in a simple apartment; and cooks some of his own meals. Bergoglio studied theology and received his doctorate in West Germany in his youth. He is known as a Voice of Conscience for the poor, but was once accused of a lapse during the military dictatorship (but it was an accusation only). Jorge Bergoglio, who received his masters in Chemistry before losing a lung due to an illness and ending his science studies, was born in Buenos Aires; he has four siblings and his father was Italian-born and worked for the railway.

Although the cardinal and new pope fights against abortion and opposes laws that grant equal social rights to homosexuals, he does believe in better relations with followers of Islam, Judaism and other religious and non-religious beliefs (con los judíos).

In 1994, after the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association was bombed in Buenos Aires he joined with other leaders in condemning the terrorism and called for ways to prevent future violence and hate. Back on January 18, 2005, at the largest papal audience between Jews and Pope John Paul II, Rabbi Joseph Ehrenkranz of Sacred Heart University in Connecticut said, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who was an auxiliary bishop in Buenos Aires on July 18, 1994, when 86 people were killed and hundreds more injured in an explosion that destroyed a seven-story building housing the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association and the Delegation of Argentine Jewish Associations, was “very concerned with what happened” and very supportive of the Jewish community.


El Congreso Judío saluda al Papa Francesco I

Capital Federal – El Congreso Judío Latinoamericano saluda al nuevo Papa, Francesco I, hasta ahora cardenal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Arzobispo de Buenos Aires, elegido para ocupar el sillón de Pedro.

Jack Terpins, presidente del Congreso Judío Latinoamericano expresó que “sabemos de la gran importancia de esta designación para el mundo católico, que sin dudas también tiene relevancia entre los judíos. Confiamos que durante su papado continuará la buena relación y buen entendimiento entre Católicos y Judíos, para convertirlo en un ejemplo para la humanidad”.

Claudio Epelman, Director de la organización expresó que “el Congreso Judio Latinoamericano mantiene una estrecha relación con Mons. Jorge Bergoglio desde hace varios años”. “Conocemos sus virtudes y no tenemos dudas de que hará un gran trabajo frente a la Iglesia”.

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El rabino de la comunidad NCI – Emanu El, Alejandro Avruj, expresó hoy miércoles que “para el pueblo judío es un gran noticia” que el cardenal de la Argentina, Jorge Bergoglio, haya sido designado como el nuevo Papa de la Iglesia Católica.
“La verdad que es algo que dentro del corazón yo imaginaba. La alegría de haber enlazado un tipo de relación con quien hoy es el Papa, en el último tiempo en particular, fue muy profunda y me permitió conocer su humildad y su persona”, resaltó Avruj, en declaraciones a la Agencia Judía de Noticias.

The rabbi of the NCI – Emanu El spiritual community, Alejandro Avruj, said on Wednesday that “for the Jewish people this is a great news” that the cardinal of Argentina, Jorge Bergoglio, has been appointed as the new Pope the Catholic Church.

“The truth is that this is something that I imagined in my heart. The joy of having a relationship and link with the new Pope who, in recent times in particular, was very deep and allowed me to meet and experience his humility and his person.”

The rabbi said a few months ago, when he was in the temple, Cardinal Bergoglio said with humility that he would not be the next pope when someone asked if he would one day replace Benedict. “But the truth knowing his history, his person and personality and touring with him several times the villas and washing the feet of the faithful of the Villa 21, in the Chapel of Caacupé, is to know the path of a great man,” said the rabbi. Regarding the relationship Bergoglio generated with Argentina’s Jewish community, Avruj described it as “” a man deeply open, very connected and committed to ecumenical and interfaith work. ” He is someone who promotes it and doesnt just wait for it. He insists not only acts and ceremonies that have shared but in the concrete work. I think it has to do with the Jewish community and the Jewish people is great news”

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  • they respect their elders. I take solace knowing that if I am in my seventies, god willing, and there is no social security payments, that i can be a pope and have my room and meals paid for

  • As we say at the Moses in Chains Church in Rome… “Same WIne, Different Chalice.” As an archbishop and cardinal, the new pope was known for being humble and washing the feet of the poor, but also for his opposition to same-sex marriage; the right of Argentinians to legally change their gender without surgery; the ability of gay or lesbian citizens to adopt children; the access to in-vitro fertilization; and also stigmatized LGBT people as being related to the work of el diablo – the devil.