New Pontiff Calls Himself ‘Pope Francis’

dateline: 19 March 2013

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • pontiff: the pope
  • archbishop: the highest ranked bishop in a certain region
  • vow of poverty: a promise to live a humble life with few possessions
  • succeed: to come after
  • Vatican City: papal state in Rome; where the head of the Roman Catholic church is located
  • papal: related to the pope
  • inauguration: ceremony to mark a person’s new position as leader

New Pontiff Calls Himself ‘Pope Francis’

A archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, was chosen to become the 266th pope, also known as the Bishop of Rome. The newly-elected pontiff is the first pope, and the first non-European pope in modern times. He is also the first to take the name Pope Francis, St. Francis of Assisi. St. Francis was a patron saint of Italy who took a vow of poverty a rich man’s son. Pope Francis succeeds Pope Benedict the XVI who resigned last month. A spokesperson from the Vatican said that Pope Francis will help the church get “back to basics”. The of power to Pope Francis began the moment he was elected; however, thousands of people will gather in Vatican City for the papal inauguration at St. Peter’s Square today.

Comprehension Questions

  1. Why is it historic that the new pope is from Argentina?
  2. Which saint did the new pope name himself after?
  3. When did the new pope officially become the Bishop of Rome?

Discussion Question: Does it surprise you that the Pope has a twitter account? The official account @Pontifex was dormant after the previous pope stepped down, but became active shortly after Pope Francis was elected. Why does the Pope need to be on twitter?

show Answers

Written by Tara Benwell for EnglishClub
Tara Benwell is a Canadian freelance writer and editor who specializes in materials and articles for the ELT industry.