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Pope 'in good health' despite boyhood lung op: Vatican

Pope Francis, at age 76 only two years younger than his predecessor Benedict XVI upon his election, enjoys good health, the Vatican said Thursday while confirming that he had part of his lung removed as a boy. "Many, many years ago he had an operation in which part of a lung was removed," Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told reporters the day after Francis's historic election. "Those who know him have always seen him in good health," Lombardi said, adding: "This is not a handicap in his life."

New pope had part of lung removed

Pope Francis had part of a lung removed "many, many years ago", the Vatican said Thursday after the 76-year-old's historic election, adding that he still enjoys good health. "I confirm that many, many years ago he had an operation in which part of a lung was removed," Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told reporters. "This is not a handicap in his life," Lombardi said. "Those who know him have always seen him in good health."

First Jesuit pope brings new concerns, new style

By Tom Heneghan and Mary Wisniewski VATICAN CITY/CHICAGO (Reuters) - The Jesuits, the legendary order of Roman Catholic priests known for its intellectuals, missionaries and iconoclasts, are unusual in the Church because they take a vow of obedience to the pope. Now that one from their own ranks has become Pope Francis, Jesuits are wondering whether there should even be a Jesuit pontiff and how former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio can carry out this unprecedented task.

The Jesuit religious order: A factfile

Pope Francis, who on Wednesday was elected as the first ever Jesuit pontiff, takes over as the major Roman Catholic religious order faces declining membership and diminishing influence in some parts of the world. The order, otherwise known as the Society of Jesus, included 36,000 members in 1964 but has seen its numbers decline in recent decades to the current 19,000. The order still boasts on its website being "the largest male religious order in the world".

Pope Francis is humble son of Argentine workman

Argentina's Jorge Bergoglio, elected Wednesday to lead the world's Roman Catholics, is a humble rail worker's son who became a Jesuit priest and who is seen as true to his working-class roots. At 76, Bergoglio -- the first pope from Latin America -- still enjoys a reputation as an ascetic despite his archbishop's robes. He rides clattering city buses, makes his own meals and is famously accessible. He lives in a small apartment rather than the archbishop's palace that ciomes with his old job.

Argentina's Bergoglio is first Latin American pope

Argentina's Jorge Bergoglio, elected on Wednesday to lead the world's Roman Catholics, is a humble rail worker's son who became a Jesuit priest and who is seen as true to his working-class roots. At 76, Bergoglio -- Latin America's first pope -- still has a reputation as an ascetic despite his archbishop's robes. He rides clattering city buses, makes his own meals and is famously accessible. Bergoglio's choice of the papal name Francis, also a first, was seen as a highly non-traditional choice as it honors a saint known for stressing humility.

New pope promises to bring new look to Church

By Crispian Balmer and Philip Pullella VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio's election as pope has broken Europe's centuries-old grip on the papacy, opening the doors on a new age of simplicity and humility for the Roman Catholic Church, mired in intrigue and scandal. He is the first South American pontiff, the first non-European pope in 1,300 years and the first to take the name Pope Francis, in honour of St. Francis of Assisi, the 12th century saint who spurned wealth to pursue a life of poverty.
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