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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid