- He did not wear bishop’s regalia,
- He used public transportation, travelling on the bus in a simple priest's cassock,
- Lived in small apartment, not bishop’s palace,
- In that apartment, he cared for an elder sickly bishop, and cooks for both of them himself,
- He wandered the slums, looking for people to catechize and baptize,
- Helped people flee Argentina's dictatorship,
- In 2000, he ordered all priests in Argentina to wear garments of penance to atone for sins committed during Argentina's military regime,
- Said to be a capable administrator,
- Refused a Curial position with the plea, "Please, I would die in the Curia.",
- In 2001, he washed and kissed the feet of 12 AIDS patients.
- When elevated to cardinal, he forbad people to come and celebrate with him. He ordered them to give the plane fare they would have spent to the poor.
- Rejects liberation theology
- He is believed to be close to Comunione e Liberazione (their site)
- Hated clericalism
- Probably not a fan of the Traditional Mass
- Additional evidence of no love for the Traditional Mass
- "Arranged for Latin Mass to be offered within his diocese within 48 hours of Summorum Pontificum"
- He is not at all squeamish about attacking major political figures.
- His archbishop motto: "Miserable yet chosen"
On abortion: “Abortion is the death penalty for the unborn”
On homosexual marriage: “Let's not be naïve, we're not talking about a simple political battle; it is 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.”
In 2010: "Homosexual adoption is discrimination against children."
"We should commit ourselves to 'eucharistic coherence', that is, we should be conscious that people cannot receive Holy Communion and at the same time act or speak against the commandments, in particular when abortion, euthanasia, and other serious crimes against life and family are facilitated. This responsibility applies particularly to legislators, governors, and health professionals."
In 2005: "Defend the unborn against abortion even if they persecute you, calumniate you, set traps for you, take you to court or kill you. No child should be deprived of the right to be born, the right to be fed, the right to go to school. No elderly person should be left alone, abandoned."
St. Francis of Assisi is commonly acknowledged to have cleansed and saved a corrupt, wastrel Church bureaucracy by living a holy, simple life that caused everyone to flock to live his example. His simple life embarrassed the rich and pompous priests and bishops. Many began to imitate him, and so the Church was transformed.
Sandro Magister believes that Pope Francis is in the line of Benedict, trying to cleanse the Church of the influences of secular humanism. This is the greatest struggle in the Church today.