The city council of Buenos Aires voted on Thursday to designate as a “Historic Site” the home where Jorge Mario Bergoglio — now Pope Francis — lived during his childhood and adolescence. In their declaration, council members described the pontiff as a humble, compassionate person in touch with the poor and concerned about the problems of today's society. These traits were apparent in his concrete actions to support priests working in poor neighborhoods, they said. “He never ceased to reach out and help those suffering from some tragedy,” the council members stated in their declaration. Ever since his election to the papacy last year, the Holy Father’s boyhood home in Buenos Aires has become a popular site for tourists and Catholic faithful. “Undoubtedly the home in which he lived and grew up as a child is of immeasurable historical, social and cultural value for the city and for all of Argentina,” said city council members Carmen Polledo and Fernando De Andreis, who wrote the declaration. Under Argentinean law, buildings designated as historic sites cannot be modified or destroyed in part or in whole without previous authorization from the Ministry of Culture.
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