(ROME, Italy) — The new leader of the Catholic Church was revealed today to be Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina and he has taken the name of Pope Francis.
He stepped onto the Vatican balcony dressed in white for the first time to address the roaring crowd in St. Peter’s Square.
Bergoglio, 76, is a Jesuit from Buenos Aires and is the first pope from South America.
The cardinals who elected the new pope looked out from surrounding balconies above the elated crowd.
French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the senior cardinal in the order of the deacons, stepped onto the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica to announce, “habemus papam,” Latin for “We have a pope.”
Tauran then revealed the pontiff’s birth name and the name he has chosen for himself as pope.
The appearance of the new pontiff triggered the second roar from more than 100,000 people jammed into St. Peter’s Square. The first was when the faithful, standing in a cold rain, spotted white smoke wafting over the Vatican, signaling the election was over. Moments later the bells of St. Peter’s Basilica rang out, soon joined by church bells all over Rome.
The election was over quickly, coming on the second day of the conclave. The Associated Press reported that the election was sealed on the fifth ballot.
The newly elected 266th pope was moved into the Room of Tears where he was outfitted with his new papal vestments before proceeding to a scarlet-draped balcony to greet the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics watching around the world.
The Vatican band and Swiss Guard marched into St. Peter’s Square ahead of the new leader who they have been sworn to protect for centuries.
The new pope will likely celebrate his installation mass within the next week.
“Usually it’s a five or six day interim between welcoming night and the celebration of his installation. He is already the pope,” Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta told ABC News in Rome. “The installation celebration is a festive, prayerful moment to give an opportunity for a larger community to pray with him in Eucharist and celebrate.”
The 115 cardinal electors began the conclave on Tuesday following the resignation of Benedict XVI, the first pontiff to resign in 600 years. At least a two-thirds majority — 77 votes — was required to elect the next pope.
The new pope is then expected to step onto the balcony to greet the crowd gathered below in St. Peter’s Square
Kendra Evensen, Idaho State Journal
Natalia Hepworth, EastIdahoNews.com
Adam Forsgren, EastIdahoNews.com columnist