New pope: Humble and soft-spoken, son of a railroad worker
(Source: Washington Post, March 14, 2013)
VATICAN CITY — vaulted gates of the Holy See lives in a simple, austere apartment across from the Cathedral of Buenos Aires. In a city with a taste for luxury and status, he frequently prepares his own meals and abandoned the limousine of his high office to hop on el micro - Argentine slang for the bus.
The 76-year-old hails from a country and a continent where the once powerful voice of the church is increasingly falling flat, losing ground - as it is in Europe - to a tide of more permissive and pragmatic faiths and to fast-rising secularism. He gives voice to a church whose center of global gravity is shifting south.
Born in Buenos Aires on Dec. 17, 1936, Bergoglio was raised in a struggling middle-class home of a railroad worker and homemaker. Ordained a priest in 1969, his ascent toward higher office occurred during a time when the Catholic Church in Argentina stood accused of at best failing to speak out, and at worst being complicit, in the harsh right-wing dictatorships of the "dirty war" that saw the disappearance of an estimated 30,000 dissidents between 1976 and 1983.
Full story: Philadelphia Inquirer
Thursday, March 14, 2013
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