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Pope Francis: Voice of poor, defender of orthodoxy

Pope Francis, wearing the mantle of a humble advocate for the poor while defending Catholic orthodoxy, rose from modest beginnings to become the first Latin American leader of the 1.2 billion-strong Church. The former archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, has already won hearts in his first days as pontiff with a disarmingly informal style, choosing simple vestments and preferring to walk instead of ride in a limo.

Pope Francis feted in Italian ancestral village

By Antonella Ciancio BRICCO MARMORITO, Italy (Reuters) - Jorge Mario Bergoglio has made history as the first pontiff from Latin America, but his distant cousins in a hilltop hamlet in northern Italy claim Argentina's Pope Francis as one of their own. Bergoglio's great grandfather, also named Francesco or Francis, bought a farmhouse in 1864 in Bricco Marmorito which sits in the shadow of the snow-capped Alps in a wine-producing region in northwest Italy.

Australia archbishop says pope junta claims 'a lie'

Australia's most senior Catholic cleric on Friday spoke out about controversy over the role of Pope Francis under Argentina's military junta, calling it "a smear and lie". Argentine cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio's election as the new pontiff has revived examination of the part he played during the dark days of his homeland's "Dirty War", when he was a leading member of the Jesuits. Some accuse him and his country's Church of having been too close to the brutal right-wing junta in power between 1976 and 1983.

Francis embarks on ground-breaking papacy

Pope Francis embarked Thursday on a ground-breaking papacy as the first Latin American leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics and a Church in turmoil. Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, the humble 76-year-old son of a railwayman, began his first full day as pontiff with private prayers at a Rome basilica. The election of the former archbishop of Buenos Aires, who was not considered a favourite in the run-up to this week's secret conclave, was met with widespread surprise and expressions of hope for change in a Church dogged by scandal and internal conflict.

Pope Francis: A pastor with the common touch

Latin America's first pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, combines conservative views with a common touch that endeared him to his parishioners in Buenos Aires, where he grew up as the son of working-class Italian immigrants. Pope Francis lived in a small apartment in the Argentine capital instead of the palace that went with his job as archbishop and rode the city's clattering buses, shunning the perks associated with high office.

Dalai Lama hails new pope, lauds choice of name

The Dalai Lama Thursday congratulated Argentinian cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio on his election as pope and lauded his decision to become the first pontiff ever to go by the name Francis. The Tibetan spiritual leader, who fled to India after a failed anti-Chinese uprising in his homeland in 1959, expressed his "sense of joy" in a letter to the first ever pope from the Americas. "May I offer you my greetings and sense of joy on your historic election as the pope," the Nobel Peace Prize winner wrote from his northern Indian hilltop headquarters of Dharamsala.

Argentina's Bergoglio elected first Latin American pope

Argentina's Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected Pope Francis I on Wednesday, becoming the first Latin American pontiff in a surprise decision that signalled a desire for a more open Catholic Church. The 76-year-old moderate emerged smiling on to the balcony of St Peter's Basilica to cries of "Long live the pope!" as tens of thousands of pilgrims cheered, cried and applauded.

Argentina's Bergoglio becomes first Latin American pope

Argentina's Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected Pope Francis I on Wednesday, becoming the first Latin American pontiff in a surprise decision that raised the prospect of a more open Catholic Church. The 76-year-old moderate emerged smiling on to the balcony of St Peter's Basilica to the cry of "Habemus Papam!" ("We Have a Pope!"), as tens of thousands of pilgrims cheered, cried and applauded. Francis called for "brotherhood" among the Church's 1.2 billion Catholics and prayed the Hail Mary together with the crowd in St Peter's Square.

URGENT ¥¥¥ Argentina's Bergoglio becomes Pope Francis I

Argentinian cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio became the first ever pope from the Americas in the history of the Church, taking the papal name of Francis I, the Vatican said on Wednesday. French cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran made the announcement from the balcony of St Peter's Basilica. Bergoglio, 76, was believed to be the runner-up to Benedict XVI at the last conclave in 2005. dt/jz

Argentina's Bergoglio elected as new Pope Francis

By Philip Pullella and Barry Moody VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was elected in a surprise choice to be the new leader of the troubled Roman Catholic Church on Wednesday, taking the name Francis I and becoming the first non-European pontiff in nearly 1,300 years.
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