The new Pope Francis is the first Pope from South America. The church has been on the defensive in recent years so where does Pope Francis stand on the issues.

1. He is anti-abortion and euthanasia. He called the pro-life movement a ‘culture of death’.

2. He supports contraceptives to help prevent disease.

3. He is anti-homosexual but is against the act rather than the people committing the act.

4. He is against same-sex marriage. He calls it ‘demonic in origin’.

5. He opposed the Argentinian Government’s introduction of same-sex marriage calling it ‘a destructive pretension against the plan of God. We are not talking about a mere bill, but rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the Children of God.

6. He said that adoption by homosexuals was a form of discrimination against children. The Argentine President said that the church’s tone was reminiscent of ‘medieval times and the Inquisition’.

7. He is very much a supporter of the poor and said about extreme poverty that the economic structures that give rise to great inequalities are violations of human rights and that social debt is ‘immoral, unjust and illegitimate’.

8. He said that anyone who speaks against the commandments especially on abortion and euthanasia should not receive the eucharist.

He is 76, a conservative and an insider having been runner-up last time to Benedict and so there is not likely to be much in the way of change. It’s not known what his view is on the paedophile crisis but he is not thought to be tainted.

However, one never knows. often people act differently when they take power than they did when they were supporting someone else in power. We’ll just have to wait and see what he does.