VATICAN CITY – March 13 marks the 10th anniversary of the election of Pope Francis as head of the nearly 1.38-billion-member Roman Catholic Church. The former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was elected as the 266th pope and the first from Latin America.
Here are some statistics about his papacy.
Francis has named 111 cardinals, the red-hatted “princes of the Church” who are his closest aides at the Vatican and who lead dioceses around the world.
Currently, 123 cardinals are aged under 80 and thus eligible under Church law to enter a conclave to elect a pope after Francis dies or retires. Known as cardinal electors, Francis has appointed 81 of them. The other electors were appointed by his predecessors.
Francis has visited 60 states, clocking up almost 410,000 kilometers (255,000 miles).
He has visited Brazil, Jordan, the Palestinian Territories, Israel, South Korea, Albania, France, Turkey, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay, Cuba, the United States, Kenya, Uganda, Central African Republic, Mexico, Greece, Armenia, Poland, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Sweden, Egypt, Portugal, Colombia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Chile, Peru, Switzerland, Ireland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Panama, United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Romania, Mozambique, Madagascar, Mauritius, Thailand, Japan, Iraq, Hungary, Slovakia, Cyprus, Greece, Malta, Canada, Kazakhstan, Bahrain, Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Sudan.
He has made more than 35 trips in Italy, starting with the island of Lampedusa, a landing point for Europe-bound migrants, in July 2013. It was his first foray outside Rome.
He has left the Vatican nearly 150 times for visits and events inside Rome, his diocese.
Francis has created about 900 new saints, including his predecessors John XXIII, John Paul II, and Paul IV, as well as Mother Teresa of Calcutta and Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, who was killed in 1980.
The figure is imprecise as it includes the Martyrs of Otranto, residents of a southern Italian city slain by Ottoman troops in 1480. The Vatican says they numbered about 800.
An encyclical is the most important form of papal document.
Francis has written three, starting in 2013 with “Lumen Fidei” (Light of Faith) on the importance of Christian faith, partly written by Pope Benedict.
In 2015, he released “Laudato Si” (Praised Be), which called for urgent action on climate change, while 2020’s Fratelli Tutti (Brothers All) tackled the issue of solidarity among people in the post-pandemic world. – Rappler.com
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