New pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, rode the bus because he gave up his limo

March 13, 2013

This April 4, 2005, file photo shows Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio  celebrating a Mass in honor of Pope John Paul II at the Buenos Aires Cathedral in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Bergoglio became Pope Francis on Wednesday. (Natacha Pisarenko/Associated Press)

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who was chosen as pope Wednesday and will be known as Pope Francis, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and is best known as a champion of the poor. This is often reflected in his very humble lifestyle, despite his position. One much-cited example of his personal (and very Franciscan) commitment is that he takes the bus.

He will presumably give up this practice for security reasons, but it says much about the personality and beliefs of the man who will now lead the Catholic church. Here's the National Catholic Register:

Back in 2005, Bergoglio drew high marks as an accomplished intellectual, having studied theology in Germany. His leading role during the Argentine economic crisis burnished his reputation as a voice of conscience, and made him a potent symbol of the costs globalization can impose on the world's poor.

Bergoglio's reputation for personal simplicity also exercised an undeniable appeal – a Prince of the Church who chose to live in a simple apartment rather than the archbishop's palace, who gave up his chauffeured limousine in favor of taking the bus to work, and who cooked his own meals.

We'll have more on Bergoglio, his church and his challenge throughout the day and the week. Check back.

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Max Fisher · March 13, 2013