New Pope: Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina

He will be called Pope Francis

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Mar 13, 2013 1:13 PM CDT | Updated Mar 13, 2013 2:19 PM CDT

(Newser) – The Catholic church has chosen a new pope: Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, a 76-year-old Jesuit. He will be known as Pope Francis and is the first pontiff from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than 1,000 years. He stepped out onto the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica about an hour after white smoke began billowing from the Sistine Chapel. “I would like to thank you for your embrace,” he told the jubilant crowd, adding that his fellow cardinals "went to the end of the world" to find a new pope. (Bergoglio's humility is a key theme in early profiles.)

He reportedly finished second in the 2005 conclave that produced Benedict XVI, who last month became the first pope to resign in 600 years. The archbishop of Buenos Aires has spent nearly his entire career at home in Argentina, overseeing churches and shoe-leather priests. Tens of thousands of people who braved cold rain to watch the smokestack atop the Sistine Chapel jumped in joy when white smoke first poured out, as the bells of St. Peter's and churches across Rome tolled, signaling a pontiff had been chosen. Elected on the fifth ballot, Bergoglio was chosen in one of the fastest conclaves in years, remarkable given there was no clear front-runner.

White billows from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel.   (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
This 2005 file photo shows Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio.   (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko, file)
Pope Francis waves to the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
The Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio. He will be the new pope.   (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
Pope Francis flanked by Monsignor Guido Marini, master of liturgical ceremonies, waves to the crowd.   (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
Crowds cheer after white smoke billowed from the chimney.   (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
A pilgrim kisses a cross after white smoke billowed from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel.   (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
Visitors cover St. Peter's Square with their umbrellas as they wait for the election of a new pope Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
White smoke billows from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel.   (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
White smoke billows from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel.   (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
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