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10 FACTS you must know about Pope Francis

Last updated on: March 14, 2013 04:41 IST

10 FACTS you must know about Pope Francis

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Even as 1.2 billion Catholics celebrate the election of Cardinal Jorge Maria Bergoglio as the new Pope, here is some interesting trivia about him.

Fact # 1: Bergoglio chose to live in a simple apartment rather than the archbishop's palace, gave up his chauffeured limousine in favour of taking the bus to work, and cooked his own meals.

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Image: A man reads a special edition of L'Osservatore Romano newspaper which carries a photograph of newly elected Pope Francis I on March 13, 2013 in Vatican City
Photographs: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
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Fact # 2: Bergoglio is known for his commitment to social justice. However, he is strongly opposed to same-sex marriage, abortion, and euthanasia

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Photographs: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
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Fact # 3: Bergoglio has lived for more than 50 years with one functioning lung. He had the other removed as a youngster because of an infection.

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Fact # 4: Bergoglio is the first Jesuit to be named a Pope. He entered the Society of Jesus and was ordained in 1969 during his theological studies at the Theological Faculty of San Miguel.

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Fact # 5: Bergoglio is the first Pope from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than 1,000 years.

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Photographs: Dylan Martinez/Reuters
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Fact # 6: Bergoglio was elected as the 266th Pope in the Roman Catholic Church's 2,000-year history even though he has no Vatican experience.

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Fact # 7: Bergoglio was the runner-up when the last pope -- Pope Benedict -- was chosen eight years ago.

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Photographs: Enrique Marcarian/Reuters
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Fact # 8: Pope Francis is the first pope to reign with that title.

He selected the name in memory of the co-founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) Saint Francis Xavier -- the other founder was St Ignatius. The Jesuits are currently considered to be very liberal but Pope Francis was one of the rare conservative members of the society. For this reason a smear campaign was started prior to the 2005 election against him claiming he "never smiled". It is believed that the campaign was initiated by other members of the Jesuit order.

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Fact # 9: In the 1970s Pope Francis (then the superior of the Jesuits) was accused of kidnapping two Jesuit priests who refused to step down when he ordered them to.

This occurred during the so-called Dirty War -- a time of state brutality and guerrilla warfare in which the extreme left fought against the conservative government in Argentina.

The priests who were allegedly kidnapped were on the side of the left and Cardinal Bergoglio had ordered that the Jesuits distance themselves from the fighting and maintain a conservative stance. The cardinal rejected the allegations of kidnapping and no charges were brought.

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Fact # 10: Bergoglio's original plan was to be a chemist, but in 1958 he instead entered the Society of Jesus and began studies for the priesthood. He spent much of his early career teaching literature, psychology and philosophy. Besides his native Spanish, Bergoglio also speaks Italian and German.

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