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Pope Francis has been chosen to lead the Roman Catholic Church.

He was born in Buenos Aires on December 17, 1936. His father was an Italian railway worker. In 2001, he was elevated to cardinal by Pope John Paul II.

He is by some considered too old for the job. Pope Francis has only one lung; the other was removed due to an infection he had as a teenager.

He is the first pope to be a member of the Society of Jesus, a Catholic order founded in the 16th century by St. Ignatius Loyola. Its members, known as Jesuits, take a vow of poverty and are known for their work among the poor, and for their scholarship.

Cardinal Edward Egan, the archbishop emeritus of New York , said that Francis is “a man who calmly stands for what’s right and just.”

Pope Francis chose his name in honor of St. Francis of Assisi because he is a lover of the poor, said Vatican deputy spokesman Thomas Rosica.

While he is known to be compassionate, humble and a simple man, the new pope is known to be conservative on social issues. He has opposed abortion and gay marriage, and in 2010 he drew the ire of Argentina’s president when he said that gay adoption was a form of discrimination against children.

“A man who calmly stands for what’s right and just,” Cardinal Edward Egan, the archbishop emeritus of New York, told NBC News. “A man of great compassion for the poor. That is what they point to first and foremost.”

[www.cnn.com]