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Cardinals pick new pope--Pope Francis the First

The first non-European Pope in 1200+ years. New Pope Elected | ThinkProgress
The Catholic cardinals have elected a new pope on Wednesday after just two days of deliberations, selecting 76-year-old Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio on the fifth vote. He has taken the name of Francis and was not considered to be one of the front runners. He is the first Jesuit pope and the first non-European pope since the 8th century. Bergoglio has affirmed church teaching on homosexuality, contraception and abortion and is considered to be among the most conservative in Latin America. In 2010, for instance, Bergoglio stated that same-sex adoption is a form of discrimination against children and has said that same-sex marriage is “a scheme to destroy God’s plan” and “a real and dire anthropological throwback.” He strongly opposed legislation introduced in 2010 by the Argentine Government to allow for marriage equality, writing a letter warning that it would “gravely harm the family.” However, Bergoglio has focused on helping the poor throughout his career, noting, “The suffering of innocent and peaceful continues to slap us, the contempt for the rights of individuals and peoples are so far away, the rule of money with his demonic effects as drugs, corruption, trafficking people, including children, along with material and moral poverty are big problems.” . . . It has been 1,272 years since a non-European pope led the Church, and is particularly appropriate today, as the number of Catholics have declined in Europe, but grown significantly throughout Latin America. It is now home to 41 percent of Catholics and is “perceived as a Catholic bedrock that needs support to counter the tremendous growth of Protestantism. ”

February 25, 2013

Britain's top Cardinal resigns amidst rumors of priest-boning

UK’s Top Catholic Cleric Resigns Amid Claims Of Inappropriate Acts
LONDON (AP) — Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Britain’s highest-ranking Catholic leader, says he is resigning as archbishop in the wake of misconduct allegations and will be skipping the conclave to elect a successor to Pope Benedict XVI. The cardinal said in a statement Monday that he will not attend because he doesn’t want media attention focused on him during the important session in Rome.

February 22, 2013

Was the Pope blackmailed into resigning?

Conspiracies and scandal and blackmail in the Vatican? My monocle has popped off my face! Papal resignation linked to inquiry into 'Vatican gay officials', says paper | World news | The Guardian
A potentially explosive report has linked the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI to the discovery of a network of gay prelates in the Vatican, some of whom – the report said – were being blackmailed by outsiders. The pope's spokesman declined to confirm or deny the report, which was carried by the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica. The paper said the pope had taken the decision on 17 December that he was going to resign – the day he received a dossier compiled by three cardinals delegated to look into the so-called "Vatileaks" affair. Last May Pope Benedict's butler, Paolo Gabriele, was arrested and charged with having stolen and leaked papal correspondence that depicted the Vatican as a seething hotbed of intrigue and infighting. According to La Repubblica, the dossier comprising "two volumes of almost 300 pages – bound in red" had been consigned to a safe in the papal apartments and would be delivered to the pope's successor upon his election. The newspaper said the cardinals described a number of factions, including one whose members were "united by sexual orientation". In an apparent quotation from the report, La Repubblica said some Vatican officials had been subject to "external influence" from laymen with whom they had links of a "worldly nature". The paper said this was a clear reference to blackmail.