(Advertisement)

Habemus Papam: Argentina's Bergoglio selected as new pope

Posted: March 13, 2013 at 1:16 p.m.
Updated: March 13, 2013 at 2:37 p.m.

This April 4, 2005 file photo shows Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, celebrating a Mass in honor of Pope John Paul II at the Buenos Aires Cathedral in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Bergoglio, who took the name of Pope Francis, was elected on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church.

— Argentine Jorge Bergoglio has been elected pope, the first ever from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium. He chose the name Pope Francis.

After announcing "Habemus Papum" — "We have a pope!" — a cardinal standing on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica on Wednesday revealed the identity of the new pontiff, using his Latin name. Bergoglio had reportedly finished second in the 2005 conclave that produced Benedict XVI — who last month became the first pope to resign in 600 years.

The 76-year-old archbishop of Buenos Aires has spent nearly his entire career at home in Argentina, overseeing churches and shoe-leather priests.

Elected on the fifth ballot, Bergoglio was chosen in one of the fastest conclaves in years, remarkable given there was no clear front-runner going into the vote and that the church had been in turmoil following the upheaval unleashed by Pope Benedict XVI's surprise resignation.

Chants of "Long live the pope!" rose from the throngs of faithful, many with tears in their eyes. Crowds went wild as the Vatican appeared on the square, blaring music, followed by Swiss Guards in silver helmets and full regalia. At least 50,000 people jammed into the square.

"I can't explain how happy I am right down," said Ben Canete, a 32-year-old Filipino, jumping up and down in excitement.

A winner must receive 77 votes, or two-thirds of the 115, to be named pope.

For comparison's sake, Benedict was elected on the fourth ballot in 2005 — but he was the clear front-runner going into the vote. Pope John Paul II was elected on the eighth ballot in 1978 to become the first non-Italian pope in 455 years.

The conclave played out against the backdrop of the first papal resignation in 600 years and revelations of mismanagement, petty bickering, infighting and corruption in the Holy See bureaucracy. Those revelations, exposed by the leaks of papal documents last year, had divided the College of Cardinals into camps seeking a radical reform of the Holy See's governance and those defending the status quo.

The names mentioned most often as "papabile" — a cardinal who has the stuff of a pope — included Cardinal Angelo Scola, the archbishop of Milan, an intellect in the vein of Benedict but with a more outgoing personality, and Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the Canadian head of the Vatican's important bishops' office who is also scholarly but reserved like Benedict.

Brazilian Cardinal Odilo Scherer is liked by the Vatican bureaucracy but not by all of his countrymen. And Cardinal Peter Erdo of Hungary has the backing of European cardinals who have twice elected him as head of the European bishops' conference.

On the more pastoral side is Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston, the favorite of the Italian press, and Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the back-slapping, outgoing archbishop of New York who has admitted himself that his Italian is pretty bad — a drawback for a job that is conducted almost exclusively in the language.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi said it was a "good hypothesis" that the pope would be installed next Tuesday, on the feast of St. Joseph, patron saint of the universal church. The installation Mass is attended by heads of state from around the world, requiring at least a few days' notice.

Benedict would not attend, he said.

Thousands of people braved a chilly rain on Wednesday morning to watch the 6-foot- (2-meter-) high copper chimney on the chapel roof for the smoke signals telling them whether the cardinals had settled on a choice. Nuns recited the rosary, while children splashed in puddles.

Unlike the confusion that reigned during the 2005 conclave, the smoke this time around was clear: black during the first two sets of smoke signals, and then clearly white on Wednesday night — thanks to special smoke flares akin to those used in soccer matches or protests that were lit in the chapel ovens to accompany the smoke from the burned ballot papers.

The Vatican on Wednesday divulged the secret recipe used: potassium perchlorate, anthracene, which is a derivative of coal tar, and sulfur for the black smoke; potassium chlorate, lactose and a pine resin for the white smoke.

The chemicals were contained in five units of a cartridge that is placed inside the stove of the Sistine Chapel. When activated, the five blocks ignite one after another for about a minute apiece, creating the steady stream of smoke that accompanies the natural smoke from the burned ballot papers.

Despite the great plumes of smoke that poured out of the chimney, neither the Sistine frescoes nor the cardinals inside the chapel suffered any smoke damage, Lombardi said.

Read Thursday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for more details.

Habemus Papam: Pope Francis Introduced to World

Argentine Jorge Bergoglio has been elected pope, the first ever from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium. He chose the name Pope Francis. (By The Associated Press)
[View Full-Size]

White smoke signifies the conclave of cardinals has chosen a new pope.

Video

Raw video: White smoke signifies new pope

photo

White smoke emerges from the chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Marc... (Credit: The Associated Press)

(Advertisement)



« Previous Story

Former Siloam Springs pastor arrested in sexu...

Hank Guilliams

A former Siloam Springs minister has been arrested in connection with sexual assault that occurred at the chur... Read »

Next Story »

Convicted murderer makes court appearance

Convicted murderer Brandon Lacy made his first court appearance in a Benton County courtroom since the Arkansas Supreme Court’s ruling granting him a hearing in his bid to ... Read »

The Cardinals continue their tradition of electing the statis quo.

Posted by: JailBird

March 13, 2013 at 5:14 p.m. ( | suggest removal )