VATICAN CITY — Cardinals elected a new pope to lead the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics on Wednesday, overcoming deep divisions to select the 266th pontiff in a remarkably fast conclave.[FONT=arial]Tens of thousands of people who braved cold rain to watch the smokestack atop the Sistine Chapel jumped in joy when white smoke poured out a few minutes past 7 p.m., many shouting “Habemus Papam!” or “We have a pope!” — as the bells of St. Peter’s Basilica and churches across Rome pealed.[/FONT]
The pope, whose identity isn’t yet known, is due to emerge from the loggia overlooking St. Peter’s Square to deliver his first words as the bishop of Rome. The lag time was giving Romans plenty of time to get to St. Peter’s, and a steady stream of pilgrims and tourists were making their way.
Pope Francis…first from outside of Europe (Argentina) …and first Jesuit.
Buenos Aires must be going nuts right now!
His initial words were both humble and self deprecating…seems like a good man.
Interesting, the choosing of Bergoglio as the new Pope marks a shift in focus from Europe, where the Catholic Church (and faith in general) is declining, to Latin America, home of more than 40% of the world’s Catholics.
I was hoping for a John Paul III. From what I know of Pope Francis he is a good man.
There’s been something like 3 non-Italian Popes since 1400. Looking past simple numbers, I’m not sure the Catholic Church in South America is all that healthy. My impression is that nominal-cultural Catholicism is prevalent there.
I was watching EWTN during the new Pope’s papal blessing. The statistic is 92% of Argentinians are nominal Catholics. However, this new pope may have been chosen for just that reason. Spanish people are incredibly traditional in all things. Perhaps having a pope from their culture might wake up some of those nominal Catholics.
He was the second choice during Pope Benedict’s election. All practicing Catholics should be very happy today. In my lifetime, we have had John XXIII, Pope Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and now Pope Francis (if another pope chooses his name, he will be referred to as Pope Francis I.)
Pope Francis, as Cardinal, was outspoken against abortion as well as artificial birth-control, euthanasia, and other life issues.
I can remember the death of John XXIII, and was a very young child during the Papacy of Pius XII. Speaking as an outsider, the Popes of the 20th and 21st Centuries seem to have been worthy of being called spiritual leaders (unlike very many or even most from the 13th-16th Centuries).