Fr Arturo Sosa Abascal has been voted the next superior general of the Society of Jesus.
The Venezuelan becomes the 30th successor of Jesuit founder St Ignatius of Loyola and leader of the Catholic Church’s largest religious order.
He is the Jesuits’ first non-European leader and also the first superior general to be elected under a Jesuit pope.
He succeeds Fr Adolfo Nicolás, a Spanish priest who formally resigned this month aged 80.
The election took place in Rome today.
Fr Sosa was born in Caracas on November 12, 1948. He is the Delegate of the General for the International Houses and Works of the Society of Jesus in Rome.
He has a Political Science doctorate from the Universidad Central de Venezuela. He speaks Spanish, Italian and English.