Profile of new pope, Francis I

Profile of new pope, Francis I

Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Argentine Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio (R) draws the cross on the forehead of a believer during a mass for Ash Wednesday, opening Lent, the forty-day period of abstinence and deprivation for the Christians, before the Holy Week and Easter, on February 13, 2013 at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Bergoglio is a candidate to succeed Pope Benedict XVI. AFP PHOTO/JUAN MABROMATA (Photo credit should read JUAN MABROMATA/AFP/Getty Images)

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Associated Press

Posted on March 13, 2013 at 2:09 PM

VATICAN CITY—The new pope, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who is 76, has spent nearly his entire career at home in Argentina, overseeing churches and shoe-leather priests.

The archbishop of Buenos Aires reportedly got the second-most votes after Joseph Ratzinger in the 2005 papal election, and he has long specialized in the kind of pastoral work that some say is an essential skill for the next pope.

In a lifetime of teaching and leading priests in Latin America, which has the largest share of the world’s Catholics, Bergoglio has shown a keen political sensibility as well as the kind of self-effacing humility that fellow cardinals value highly.

Bergoglio is known for modernizing an Argentine church that had been among the most conservative in Latin America.

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