Pope Francis is facing bombshell allegations that have put the papacy directly in the crosshairs of a potential scandal. But the Catholic Pope isn’t new to being at the center of controversies with the Catholic church.
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Born Jorge Mario Bergoglio in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1936 – Catholic Pope Francis was the son of Italian immigrants who fled the fascist dictatorship of Benito Mussolini. Bergoglio dedicated his life to the Roman Catholic church in 1958 when he joined the novitiate of the Society of Jesus.
Fast forward to March 13, 2013 — a billow of white smoke rose above the Sistine Chapel. That was the moment Jorge Mario Bergoglio, became known as Pope Francis. Pope Francis became the 266th leader of the Roman Catholic church.
His leadership would bring in a new wave of firsts for the Vatican. Pope Francis was the first pope from Latin America, the first Jesuit, and first non-European in over 1,000 years.
He said he wanted to shift the church’s priority to helping the poor and marginalized. Pope Francis was seen as a reformer, someone who wanted to push the Catholic church forward.
He’s made relatively supportive comments about the LGBTQ community in 2013, saying quote “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”
He’s warned of the growing dangers of climate change, argued that the death penalty is “inadmissible,” and gave priests the right to “forgive abortions,” a medical procedure that would have automatically resulted in the excommunication from the church.
But these signs of change didn’t sit well with some conservatives in the church.
In today’s episode, we’re going to explore some of the controversies of Pope Francis’ past, and the recent allegations that might leave some to ask, will pope Francis resign?
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NowThis World is dedicated to bringing you topical explainers about the world around you. Each week we’ll be exploring current stories in international news, by examining the facts, providing historical context, and outlining the key players involved. We’ll also highlight powerful countries, ideologies, influential leaders, and ongoing global conflicts that are shaping the current landscape of the international community across the globe today.