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Statue of St. Peter in the Vatican (Photo: Mark & Becs)

EU leaders welcome 'non-European' pope

EU leaders have hailed the election of the first non-European pope in more than 1,200 years.

The 76-year-old Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who comes from Buenos Aires but whose parents were Italian, became Pope Francis at 7.06pm local time in Rome on Wednesday (13 March).

The first pope, St. Peter, was himself born in what is today Israel. But the last time the Vatican chose a leader from outside Europe was Pope Gregory III, from what is today Syria, in 731 AD.

Pope Francis refle...

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Author Bio

Andrew Rettman is EUobserver's Foreign Affairs Editor. He has been writing about foreign and security affairs for EUobserver since 2005. He is Polish but grew up in the UK. He has also written for The Guardian, The Telegraph, and The Times of London.

Statue of St. Peter in the Vatican (Photo: Mark & Becs)

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Author Bio

Andrew Rettman is EUobserver's Foreign Affairs Editor. He has been writing about foreign and security affairs for EUobserver since 2005. He is Polish but grew up in the UK. He has also written for The Guardian, The Telegraph, and The Times of London.

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