Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina has been chosen by the College of Cardinals to lead the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics. He is replacing the retired Pope Benedict XVI and taking the name of Francis after a previous advocator for the poor. The election of Pope Francis recognizes Latin America where majority of world Catholics live. Born to Italian immigrant parents, Pope Francis is a champion of poor and disadvantaged. Many dignitaries from all over the world including the Vice President Joe Biden from the U.S. attended his inauguration ceremonies during the third week of March 2013 in Rome.
Several worldwide issues are waiting for the new Pope Francis. The sexual-abuse scandal that plagued much of the recent past still bringing in many law suits and financial meltdown for many dioceses especially in the U.S., and waiting to be addressed by the church. The Catholic Church is walking into an unknown fiscal future in this scandal. The Vatican bureaucracy is also causing financial stress in the Vatican bank and inviting financial scrutiny by world regulating bodies. The church is also faced with finding suitable new young talent to replace retiring clergy.