Early lifeJorge Bergoglio was born in Buenos Aires, one of the five children of an Italian immigrant railway worker and his wife. He received a master's degree in chemistry at the University of Buenos Aires, then studied at the seminary in Villa Devoto. He entered the Society of Jesus on 11 March 1958. Bergoglio obtained a licentiate in philosophy from the Colegio Máximo San José in San Miguel, and then taught literature and psychology at the Colegio de la Inmaculada in Santa Fe, and the Colegio del Salvador in Buenos Aires.
Pre-papal careerHe was ordained to the priesthood on 13 December 1969, by Archbishop Ramón José Castellano. He attended the Philosophical and Theological Faculty of San Miguel, a seminary in San Miguel. Bergoglio attained the position of novice master there and became professor of theology.
Impressed with his leadership skills, the Society of Jesus promoted Bergoglio and he served as provincial for Argentina from 1973 to 1979. He was transferred in 1980 to become the rector of the seminary in San Miguel where he had studied. He served in that capacity until 1986. He completed his doctoral dissertation in Germany and returned to his homeland to serve as confessor and spiritual director in Córdoba.
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CardinalRoman Curia. He served on the Congregation of Clergy, Congregation of Divine Worship and Sacraments, Congregation of Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Congregation of Societies of Apostolic Life. Bergoglio became a member of the Commission for Latin America and the Family Council.
As Cardinal, Bergoglio became known for personal humility, doctrinal conservatism and a commitment to social justice. A simple lifestyle contributed to his reputation for humility. He lived in a small apartment, rather than in the palatial bishop's residence. He gave up his chauffeured limousine in favor of public transportation, and he reportedly cooked his own meals.
On the death of Pope John Paul II, Bergoglio was considered one of the papabile cardinals. He participated as a cardinal elector in the 2005 papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI. It has been reported that Bergoglio was in close contention with Ratzinger during the election, until he made an emotional plea that the cardinals should not vote for him. Earlier, he had participated in the funeral of Pope John Paul II and acted as a regent alongside the College of Cardinals, governing the Holy See and the Roman Catholic Church during the interregnum sede vacante period.
During the 2005 Synod of Bishops, he was elected a member of the Post-Synodal council. Catholic journalist John L. Allen, Jr. reported that Bergoglio was a frontrunner in the 2005 Conclave. An unauthorized diary of uncertain authenticity released in September 2005 confirmed that Bergogolio was the runner-up and main challenger of Cardinal Ratzinger at that conclave. The purported diary of the anonymous cardinal claimed Bergoglio received 40 votes in the third ballot, but fell back to 26 at the fourth and decisive ballot.
On 8 November 2005, Bergoglio was elected President of the Argentine Episcopal Conference for a three-year term (2005–2008) by a large majority of the Argentine bishops, which according to reports confirms his local leadership and the international prestige earned by his alleged performance in the conclave. He was reelected on November 11, 2008.
He has affirmed church teaching on homosexuality, including that men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity and that every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. He strongly opposed legislation introduced in 2010 by the Argentine Government to allow same-sex marriage, calling it a "real and dire anthropological throwback". In a letter to the monasteries of Buenos Aires, he wrote: "Let's not be naive, we're not talking about a simple political battle; it is a destructive pretension against the plan of God. We are not talking about a mere bill, but rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God." He has also insisted that adoption by gay and lesbian people is a form of discrimination against children. This position received a rebuke from Argentine president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who said the church's tone was reminiscent of "medieval times and the Inquisition".