Know the controversial Pope
Pope Francis is the first Latin American as well as Jesuit to lead the Roman Catholic Church. Before becoming the Pope in 2013, he was Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires.
Pope Francis reaches out to atheists
- In 2013, Pope Francis said that "even the atheists" have been redeemed "with the blood of Christ."
- This was interpreted in two ways. Some said that he meant that regardless of the theological perspective, "doing good" is a universal value that unites all of humanity.
- Others interpreted his words to mean that everyone was redeemed through Jesus, including atheists.
Pope Francis' acceptance of gays reversed
- Pope called for a "more merciful and less rigid Church" saying that "God is not afraid of new things."
- While the bishops approved a document that called for more spiritual guidance for Catholic families, they failed to agree on welcoming gays and divorced or civilly remarried couples.
- Pope had made a bid for acceptance of gays which will be taken up again next year.
Pope's 'rabbit' remark doesn't sit well with Catholics
- Reiterating the church's ban on artificial means of birth control the Pope asked the Catholics to practice "responsible parenthood", and that Catholics don't have to breed "like rabbits."
- The remark provoked anger from Catholics with large families.
- Francis' comments in defence of the 1968 Humanae Vitae showed a more conservative side of him, although he is often perceived as more liberal than his predecessors.
Pontiff in trouble over 'genocide' remark
- The Pope in his Sunday sermon stirred anger by calling the 1915 killings of up to 1.5 million Armenians by Turks a "genocide". He went as far as calling it "the first genocide of the 20th century."
- The sermon at St. Peter's Basilica marked the 100th anniversary of the tragedy.
- Turkey retaliated by attacking the Pope of spreading "hatred and animosity" with "unfounded allegations."
Pope Francis dedicates his encyclical to climate change
- The Pope in his encyclical "Laudato Si" advocated a change of lifestyle in rich countries steeped in "throwaway" consumer culture.
- Pope Francis demanded swift action to save the planet from environmental ruin, urging world leaders to hear "the cry of the earth".
- The Pope received praise from scientists, the United Nations, as well as U.S. President Barack Obama for his message.
Those in the weapons industry not Christian - Pope
- Pope Francis proclaimed that the people connected to the weapons industry are not "Christians really" to thousands of young people during a rally in Turin.
- He even derided those who invest in the industry.
- The Pope also talked about the "the great tragedy of Armenia" though carefully avoiding the term "genocide," which had created problems last year resulting in Turkey calling its ambassador back.
Not his first anti-weapon sermon
A year ago, the Pope had called weapon businesses "merchants of death." In May he derided them for perpetuating war, calling them the devil who "enters through our wallets."