The first pope from the Americas and from the Southern Hemisphere. He is also the first non-European pope since Syrian-born Pope Gregory III in 741.
Elected pope on March 13, 2013 to succeed Pope Benedict XVI who had resigned earlier that year.
Named Time magazine's Person of the Year for 2013.
Reasserted the Catholic Church's conservative approach to various social issues in 2014, by reaffirming the doctrinal evaluation and criticism of U.S. nuns by the Holy See under his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI. An assessment was made which accused the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents about 57,000 sisters, or 80% of U.S. nuns, of promoting "radical feminist themes" and ignoring the Vatican's hard line on same-sex marriage and abortion. The original dispatch set up reeducation programs to bring nuns back into line, alleging that leaders of U.S. orders had challenged the church's teachings on women's ordination and ministry to homosexuals.
One of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World. [April 2014].
The Vatican hosted the three-day international, interfaith colloquium on 'The Complementarity of Man and Woman' sponsored by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In his opening remarks Pope Francis stated that, 'It is ever more evident that the decline of the culture of marriage is associated with increased poverty and a host of other social ills that disproportionately affect women, children and the elderly. It is always they who suffer the most in this crisis... Children have a right to grow up in a family with a father and a mother capable of creating a suitable environment for the child's growth and emotional development' [17 November 2014].
Has spoken out against the death penalty.
Used the word "genocide" to describe the mass killing of Armenians under Ottoman rule during World War I.
Excommunicated priest who backed women's ordination and gay marriage; Father Greg Reynolds of Melbourne, Australia in 2013.
Merited a place in TIME magazine's "The 100 Most Influential People" issue with an homage penned by Cardinal Blase J. Cupich. [May 2017]