Pope Francis (Latin: Franciscus; born Jorge Mario Bergoglio on December 17, 1936) is the 266th and current Pope of the Catholic Church, elected on March 13, 2013. He chose his regnal name in honor of the co-founder of the Society of Jesus Francis Xavier. He is the first Pope born in the Americas, and the first Pope from the Southern Hemisphere. Beginning in 1998, he served as the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, and was promoted to Cardinal in 2001. 1999 honorary member of RC of Buenos Aires.