Georgetown backdrop


Pope Francis headshot

Pope Francis


This individual is not a direct affiliate of the Berkley Center.

Pope Francis (Jorge Bergoglio, S.J.) assumed the papacy in March 2013 following the unexpected retirement of Pope Benedict XVI. He previously was the Archbishop of Buenos Aires from 1998 to 2013. He is considered to be a relatively conservative member of the Catholic Church, and he has demonstrated a strong commitment to social justice. Bergoglio was elected president of the Argentinian Episcopal Conference for a three-year term from 2005 to 2008. He is known for his humility and his leadership within the Church. He became a cardinal in 2001 and was reportedly among the front-runners in the 2005 conclave after the death of Pope John Paul II. As head of the Argentine bishops, he took a firm public stance against the legalization of gay marriage advocated by presidents Néstor Kirchner and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.