News / Europe

Argentine Jorge Bergoglio Elected Pope

Newly elected Pope Francis, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina appears on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica after being elected by the conclave of cardinals, at the Vatican, March 13, 2013.
Newly elected Pope Francis, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina appears on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica after being elected by the conclave of cardinals, at the Vatican, March 13, 2013.
Sean Maroney
After only two days of voting, Roman Catholic cardinals elected Argentine Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the new pope to lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.  He has chosen the name Francis and is the first pope from Latin America in the Catholic Church's 2,000-year history.  

The mood was electric in St. Peter's Square Wednesday evening when Pope Francis emerged onto the basilica's balcony for the first time in his new papal vestments.

Tens of thousands of pilgrims from around the world had endured rain and cold temperatures to greet their new spiritual leader.

Pope Francis, who less than an hour earlier was known as Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, is the first pope to come from the Americas, a fact he acknowledged with a smile as he addressed the crowd.

"As you know, the duty of the conclave was to give Rome a bishop," said Pope Francis. "It seems to me that my brother cardinals went almost to the end of the world.  Here I am."

It took five rounds of voting for the 115 cardinals, cut off from the outside world since Tuesday in the Vatican, to reach at least a two-thirds majority in selecting a new pope.

The 76-year-old Francis takes over from Pope Benedict XVI, who now has the title "Pope Emeritus."  Benedict, who is 85, resigned last month, saying he did not have the strength to carry out his papal duties.  He was the first pontiff to voluntarily step down in 600 years.

Francis urged his fellow Catholics to pray for his predecessor and for their new journey together.

"It is a journey of friendship, of love, of trust, and faith," he said. "Let us pray always for one another.  Let us pray for the whole world.  Let us have a big brotherhood."

When white smoke started billowing out of a Vatican chimney announcing Francis' election, the crowd reacted with joy.

British Man: "Very beautiful, this is the first time of my life to watch this.  Fantastic."

Unidentified Woman: "So emotional.  It's white.  I'm so happy."

Venezuelan Woman: "This is a historical moment, and we're very lucky to be here."

Reactions also came from people for the first time on social media websites like Twitter, which had the keywords "whitesmoke" and "HabemusPapam" trending worldwide.

Prior to Pope Francis' election, many analysts had speculated that the cardinals would decide it was time to elect a pontiff who was not European.  Like their new pope, more than 40 percent of the world's Catholics are from Latin America.  And as the number of Catholics has decreased in Europe in recent years, Africa and Asia have seen more followers filling the pews.

Francis inherits the reins of a bureaucracy that is still struggling to overcome scandal, including child sex abuse cases involving the clergy that date back decades and the theft and release of documents from the papal residence revealing alleged corruption in the Vatican administration.
  • Pope Francis arrives at the St. Francis Basilica to lead a mass as part of his pastoral visit in Assisi, Italy, Oct. 4, 2013.
  • Pope Francis greets faithful upon arrival for his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sept. 18, 2013.
  • Then Archbishop of Buenos Aires Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio leads a mass during the annual gathering and pilgrimage to the church dedicated to Saint Cajetan, the patron saint of labor and bread, in Buenos Aires, August 7, 2009.
  • Then Archbishop of Buenos Aires Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio greets people during the annual gathering and pilgrimage to the church dedicated to Saint Cajetan in Buenos Aires, August 7, 2009.
  • Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner greets then Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio at the Basilica of Lujan, Dec. 22, 2008.
  • Then Pope Benedict greets then Archbishop of Buenos Aires Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio at the Vatican, Jan. 13, 2007.
  • Then Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio washes the feet of two newly born children on Holy Thursday at the Buenos Aires' Sarda maternity hospital, March 24, 2005.
  • Jorge Bergoglio is pictured in this undated handout photo courtesy of Clarin.
  • Jorge Bergoglio poses in this undated handout photo courtesy of Clarin.
  • Jorge Bergoglio and his family are seen in this undated handout photo provided by Clarin.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Audio Top 5 Songs for Week Ending May 23

This week's lineup can be summed up like this: 'It's The Same Old Song' - but they're great songs - featuring Walk The Moon, The Weeknd, Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs