A pope of firsts

The election of Pope Francis breaks the mould in a number of ways, but will his pontificate change the Catholic world, asks Kieron Wood.

17th March, 2013
The newly-elected Pope Francis I gestures to the crowd from the central balcony of St Peter's Basilica. Photo: Getty

It's Ian Paisley's worst nightmare. A Jesuit on the throne of St Peter. Although the Society of Jesus was founded almost 500 years ago, Pope Francis is the first Jesuit to be elected to lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.

In fact, the new pope - formerly Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires - is responsible for a veritable litany of firsts. He's also the first pope from the Americas, the first from the southern hemisphere,...

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