On Wednesday (March 13), Catholic cardinals chose Jose Mario Bergoglio to be the 266th pope

Bergoglio, who will be known as Pope Francis and is from Argentina, is the first pope from Latin America and will be the first pope in more than 1,000 years not born in Europe.

The previous pope, Benedict XVI, resigned last month, being the first pope to resign in nearly 600 years.

WVU’s Program for Religious Studies director, Aaron Gale, is in Rome and available to offer commentary on the papal election. He can be reached at Aaron.Gale@mail.wvu.edu.

Jane Donovan, a West Virginia University lecturer in the Program for Religious Studies, is available to offer commentary on this announcement, which she calls “huge.”

Donovan specializes in the history of Christianity and has written seven books, as well as many articles on American religious history in particular. Her research interests include the interaction between religion and politics in the U.S., the history of the theology of Christian hospitality and the ideological/political divide in modern mainline churches.

She can be reached by calling her cell phone at 304-376-9896 or e-mailing Jane.Donovan@mail.wvu.edu



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