After white smoke was spotted billowing out of the Sistine Chapel, crowds began amassing in Vatican Square, awaiting word of who will lead the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.
And the winner is: Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires.
The 266th pope, Bergoglio, a Jesuit and the first pope from the New World, will take on the title of Pope Francis I.
Though Bergoglio, 76, has been called a champion of the poor—and washed and kissed the feet of twelve AIDS patients at a hospice in 2001—he affirms the Church’s teachings on homosexuality and thoroughly opposed same-sex marriage legislation in Argentina.
In a letter to the monasteries of Buenos Aires, he wrote:
“Let’s not be naive, we’re not talking about a simple political battle; it is a destructive pretension against the plan of God. 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 claimed that gay couples adopting was a form of discrimination against children, a stance Argentina president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner said was reminiscent of “medieval times and the Inquisition.”