Jorge Mario Bergoglio Elected Pope; First Latin American Pope to Become Francis I

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Jorge Mario Bergoglio has been elected the Roman Catholic Church's new Pope. The first Latin American to be Pope, he will call himself Francis I.

As Pope Francis I, Argentine Cardinal Bergoglio replaces Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned last month saying he was not strong enough to lead.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio Photo

About an hour ago, white smoke billowing from the Sistine Chapel chimney announced to the world that cardinals gathered inside had made their choice.

The 115 cardinals have been in isolation since Tuesday, and held four inconclusive votes. At least 77 of them, or two-thirds, are needed to elect the Pope.

Before the conclave began, there was no clear front-runner to replace Benedict, leading millions to wonder who will be the next Pope. Now we know.

The Catholic News Agency said people were running through the streets of Rome, hoping to reach St. Peter's Square in time for the new Pope's debut.

A troupe of Swiss Guards in helmets and full regalia marched to the Basilica in preparation for the announcement, as military bands played for the onlookers.


Jorge Mario Bergoglio / Pope Francis I will have already accepted an invitation to become Pope and the cardinals will have sworn allegiance to him.

After that, he will have gone to pray alone.

The new pontiff, 76, is the 266th man to lead the Roman Catholic Church, and also the first non-European leader of the church in more than 1,000 years.

“I would like to thank you for your embrace,” the new pope, dressed in white, said from the balcony at St. Peter’s Basilica just a few moments ago.

A humbled Francis thanked his fellow cardinals in the Vatican, saying his Catholic colleagues “have chosen one from far away, but here I am.”

“Habemus papam!,” members of the crowd shouted in Latin, waving umbrellas and flags in support. “We have a pope!” Others cried “Viva il Papa!”

What do you think of the new Pope? Good choice?

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