Cardinal Bergoglio (pronounced Ber-GOAL-io) the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, who was elected Pope yesterday, chose the name Francis I. His Holiness Pope Francis I, a Jesuit, is 76 years old and is the first South American to lead the Catholic Church.
Pope Francis, is known as a valiant defender of life and family. Pro-lifers are cheered by his strong statements on abortion (“abortion is never a solution”) and the dignity of the elderly and the importance of resisting euthanasia (“Even if euthanasia is not legal in many countries, it is being actualized covertly through attitudes of exclusion and abandonment” of the elderly).
In terms of so called ‘same sex marriage’, Cardinal Bergoglio fought valiantly to have the law in Argentina continue to protect the traditional family. In July 2009, he called on the priests of his Archdiocese to encourage the faithful to attend protest against “same sex marriage."
"Let's not be naive, we're not talking about a simple political battle; it is a destructive pretension against the plan of God," […] He wrote
"We are not talking about a mere bill, but rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God."
Bergoglio also requested his priests to read, a declaration defending the true definition and understanding of marriage, from the pulpits.
"The Argentinean people will have to confront, in the coming weeks, a situation whose result could gravely injure the family. We are speaking of a bill regarding marriage between people of the same sex," a bill that calls into question "the identity, and the survival of the family: father, mother, and children."
The latter, warns Bergoglio, might also be threatened by homosexual adoption, which would be a true form of discrimination.
The country now needs "the special assistance of the Holy Spirit, to place the light of truth in the middle of the darkness of error, to defend us against the enchantment of so many sophistries with which they seek to justify this bill," he wrote.
Cardinal Bergoglio also defended the life of the unborn even in cases of rape, in very stark terms.
In a 2007 speech given to a gathering of priests and laity on October 2nd, then-Cardinal Bergoglio issued a defense of life even in cases of rape saying: "we aren’t in agreement with the death penalty," but "in Argentina we have the death penalty. A child conceived by the rape of a mentally ill or retarded woman can be condemned to death."
Moreover, on behalf of the bishops of Latin America, also in 2007, Cardinal Bergoglio presented the "Aparecida Document" regarding the situation of the Church in their countries. The document, approved by Pope Benedict XVI in July of that year, made a very clear statement regarding the consequences of supporting abortion, disallowing Holy Communion for anyone who facilitates an abortion, including politicians.
The text states in paragraph 436 that "we should commit ourselves to ‘Eucharistic coherence’, that is, we should be conscious that people cannot receive Holy Communion and at the same time act or speak against the commandments, in particular when abortion, euthanasia, and other serious crimes against life and family are facilitated. This responsibility applies particularly to legislators, governors, and health professionals."
See reports from LifeSite