There had never been a Latin American pope despite that it is home to nearly half of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics but between 2000 and 2010, the percentage of Mexicans that identify as Catholic dropped from 88 to less than 83 — the largest fall recorded to date. Now that the new Pope is the place, can he save his church? Furthermore, the Vatican had been concerned about the remarkable decline of Catholicism throughout the region in the preceding decade. Vatican had once seen the area as a “continent of hope,” it now thought of it as a “continent of concern.”
Politicians have defied the church in ways, such as in Mexico City, official’s legalized euthanasia, and same-sex marriage and adoption, in 2009. The peril of excommunication did nothing to alter their minds. Argentinian President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner legalized same-sex marriage in 2010. She countered to the resistance accumulated by Bergoglio by accusing him a relic from the past “reminiscent of the Middle Ages and the Inquisition.” Chilean President Sebastián Piñera, of the historically Catholic Christian Democratic Party, enacted an anti-discrimination law that included sexual orientation as a category for protection against the strenuous opposition from Catholic officials in 2012. And up to this day, Piñera is pushing legislation to legalize same-sex civil unions.