Pope Francis’ first year as the leader of the Catholic Church has been one that has seen him promote a compassionate but uncompromising pro-life perspective. Pope Francis’ first anniversary gives the world an occasion to look back on how he has advanced the teachings of the Catholic Church and, on the issue of abortion, it has been impressive.

Maureen Ferguson, Senior Policy Advisor with The Catholic Association, looked back on this day one year ago when the former bishop from Argentina was named the new pontiff.

She said: “Standing in St. Peter’s square one year ago amidst the euphoria at the installation mass of Pope Francis, an NBC News microphone was suddenly in my face, with the reporter asking my thoughts on our new pope. My response was, based on the little I knew about Jorge Bergoglio’s days leading the flock in Argentina, ‘I think he is going to challenge all of us to live a deeper life of faith.’”

Pope Francis has not only challenged the Catholic Church but the world.

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