SULTAN JESSA: Pope Francis winning fans

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Having reportedly trailed second in every ballot to Pope Benedict XV1 in 2005, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the archbishop of Buenos Aires, triumphed in the fifth ballot to become the first Jesuit to the throne of St. Peter.

Pope Francis is the first from outside Europe in modern times.

Early indications are Francis will become the people’s pope.

He is already making a huge impression on the estimated 1.2 billion Roman Catholics around the world with his new style without much pomp and ceremony.

Pope Francis is becoming a trend setter walking up to crowds, shaking hands with surprised bystanders in the streets.

He has been mixing his speeches with off-the-cuff remarks.

In fact, he has stamped his own style on the papacy, a real welcome change.

 There was a lot of speculation about the new pope after the unexpected resignation of Pope Benedict because he no longer has the strength to fulfill the duties of his office.

The 115 cardinals knew replacing the ailing pope was going to be a mammoth task.

However, Argentina’s Bergoglio was never mentioned as a contender.

In a dramatic break from tradition, the conclave elected a pope from the Americas.

A non-European cardinal had never been chosen to lead the church.

The favourite Canadian for the top post is Cardinal Ouellet.

Unfortunately, he did not make it.

Reports suggest he played a major role in the selection of the new pope and maybe rewarded with a good position at the Vatican.

Pope Benedict was the reluctant pope, a bookworm who preferred solitary walks in the Alps to the public glare and the majesty of Vatican pageantry.

The new Pope’s first public appearance came after the famous white smoke poured from a copper chimney atop the Sistine Chapel.

Bergoglio was never considered one of the leading contenders to succeed Benedict.

At 76, Pope Francis is exhibiting a lot of energy and eager to tackle some of the major problems faced by the Roman Catholics.

The new Pope has long stood out for his austerity and simple leaving. After being elected Pope, he went to Rome to collect his suitcases and settled the bill himself.

Pope Francis while in Argentina lived a simple life in modest accommodation.

For years, he took public transportation and cooked his own meals.

This Pope is a down-to-earth church man.

He is a people’s person.

He brings new life and optimism to the troubled church.

Of course, he has many colossal problems including sex abuse scandals.

The new Pope’s famous words soon after election were mercy can change the world and make it less cold and more just.

The new Pope is the son of a railway worker who was an Italian immigrant to Argentina.

Geographic location: Argentina, Buenos Aires, Europe Vatican Rome

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