(AP) – Pope Francis has been known for years as a humble man who denied himself the luxuries that previous Buenos Aires cardinals enjoyed.
Known previously as Jorge Bergoglio, the 76-year-old often rode the bus to work, cooked his own meals and regularly visited the slums that ring Argentina’s capital. He considers social outreach, rather than doctrinal battles, to be the essential business of the church.
He has in the past accused fellow church leaders of hypocrisy and forgetting that Jesus Christ bathed lepers and ate with prostitutes.
In his first appearance in St. Peter’s Square as the new pope today, Francis wore a simple white robe.
‘THE END OF THE EARTH’
The new Argentinian pop shyly waved to the crowd in St. Peter’s Square and marveled that the cardinals had had to look to “the end of the earth” to find a new pontiff.
Jorge Bergoglio asked for prayers for himself, and for retired Pope Benedict XVI, whose resignation paved the way for his election.
Bergoglio had reportedly finished second in the 2005 conclave that produced Benedict — who last month became the first pope to resign in 600 years.