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10 things you didn’t know about the Pope

10 things you didn’t know about the Pope

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Catholics around the world are pleased by the announcement of Argentine Jorge Bergoglio as Pope Francis. Here are ten things you didn't know about the new Pope:

• He likes to travel by bus.

• He has lived for more than 50 years with one functioning lung. He had the other removed as a young man because of infection.

• He is the son of an Italian railway worker.

• He trained as a pharmacist.

• He is the first non-European pope in the modern era.

• He claims that adoption by homosexuals is a form of discrimination against children but believes that condoms "can be permissible" to prevent infection.

• In 2001 he washed and kissed the feet of Aids patients in a hospice.

• He speaks fluent Italian, as well as Spanish and German.

• Until now he has been living in a small flat, eschewing a formal bishop's residence.

• He told Argentinians not to travel to Rome to celebrate if he was appointed but to give their money to the poor instead.

• He is believed to have been the runner-up in the last papal conclave in 2005.

• He has co-written a book, in Spanish, called Sobre el Cielo y la Tierra (On Heaven and Earth). You can buy it on Kindle.

• Though conservative on church doctrine, he has criticised priests who refuse to baptise babies born to single mothers.

The Australian Women's Weekly
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