Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

Holy smoke! Jorge Mario Bergoglio becomes Pope Francis - shock decision to elect first Latin American and first Jesuit to lead Catholic Church

Cardinals arrive for a meeting at the Vatican (AP)
The new pope waves to the crowds from the central balcony of St Peter's Basilica at the Vatican (AP)
Pope Francis blesses the crowd from the central balcony of St Peter's Basilica at the Vatican (AP)
Crowds cheer after white smoke indicated that a new pope has been elected (AP)
White smoke billows from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel indicating that a new pope has been elected (AP)
FILE - This Oct. 27, 2011 file photo shows Pope Benedict XVI (little figure in white in background) attending a peace meeting with other religious leaders in front of the St. Francis Basilica in Assisi, central Italy, Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011. At the moment Cardinal Albino Luciani learned his colleagues had elected him pope, he responded, "May God forgive you for what you've done.'' The remark, by the man who became Pope John Paul I, was seen as an expression of humility, but also a commentary on the mammoth task ahead. There is no job like that of the pope. He is the CEO of a global enterprise, head of state, a moral voice in the world and, in the eyes of Roman Catholics, Christ's representative on earth. The man who emerges as pontiff from the conclave starting Tuesday has a crushing to-do list as he leads the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, files)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MARCH 12: Nuns walk through St Peter's Square on March 12, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. Pope Benedict XVIÄôs successor is being chosen by the College of Cardinals in Conclave in the Sistine Chapel. The 115 cardinal-electors, meeting in strict secrecy, will need to reach a two-thirds-plus-one vote majority to elect the 266th Pontiff. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MARCH 12: A pilgrim prays in St Peter's Square as cardinals attend mass before entering the conclave on March 12, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. Pope Benedict XVIÄôs successor is being chosen by the College of Cardinals in Conclave in the Sistine Chapel. The 115 cardinal-electors, meeting in strict secrecy, will need to reach a two-thirds-plus-one vote majority to elect the 266th Pontiff. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MARCH 12: A pilgrim prays in St Peter's Square as cardinals attend mass before entering the conclave on March 12, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. Pope Benedict XVIÄôs successor is being chosen by the College of Cardinals in Conclave in the Sistine Chapel. The 115 cardinal-electors, meeting in strict secrecy, will need to reach a two-thirds-plus-one vote majority to elect the 266th Pontiff. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MARCH 12: A pilgrim prays in St Peter's Square as cardinals attend mass before entering the conclave on March 12, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. Pope Benedict XVIÄôs successor is being chosen by the College of Cardinals in Conclave in the Sistine Chapel. The 115 cardinal-electors, meeting in strict secrecy, will need to reach a two-thirds-plus-one vote majority to elect the 266th Pontiff. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - MARCH 12: American Cardinals wave to seminarians at the North American College who line the road to watch as they head to St. Peter's Basilica where a Pro eligendo Romano Pontifice Mass will be celebrated before the Cardinals enter the Conclave to decide who the next pope will be on March 12, 2013 in Rome, Italy. Cardinals are set to enter the conclave to elect a successor to Pope Benedict XVI after he became the first pope in 600 years to resign from the role. The conclave is scheduled to start in the afternoon inside the Sistine Chapel and will be attended by 115 cardinals as they vote to select the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - MARCH 12: American Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan gestures before boarding a bus to take him and other Cardinals from the North American College to St. Peter's Basilica where a Pro Eligendo Romano Pontifice Mass will be celebrated before they enter the Conclave to decide who the next pope will be on March 12, 2013 in Rome, Italy. Cardinals are set to enter the conclave to elect a successor to Pope Benedict XVI after he became the first pope in 600 years to resign from the role. The conclave is scheduled to start in the afternoon inside the Sistine Chapel and will be attended by 115 cardinals as they vote to select the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY- MARCH 12: American Cardinals walk to a bus to take them from the North American College to St. Peter's Basilica where a Pro Eligendo Romano Pontifice Mass will be celebrated before they enter the Conclave to decide who the next pope will be on March 12, 2013 in Rome, Italy. Cardinals are set to enter the conclave to elect a successor to Pope Benedict XVI after he became the first pope in 600 years to resign from the role. The conclave is scheduled to start in the afternoon inside the Sistine Chapel and will be attended by 115 cardinals as they vote to select the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MARCH 11: A member of The Swiss Guard closes the gate at the Arch of the Bells at St Peter's Basilica on March 11, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. Cardinals are set to enter the conclave to elect a successor to Pope Benedict XVI after he became the first pope in 600 years to resign from the role. The conclave is scheduled to start on March 12 inside the Sistine Chapel and will be attended by 115 cardinals as they vote to select the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
A nun walks inside St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Monday, March 11, 2013.
Two cardinals walk past Swiss guards as they leave after a meeting at the Vatican to set a date for the conclave to elect a new pope (AP)

The new Pope is Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires. The first ever Jesuit Pope, he will take the name Pope Francis.

He is known as a humble man who takes the bus to work and cooks his own meals. From an evangelical background, with a traditional theology, he is likely to be strong on reform.

 

The identity of the new Pontiff, who takes the position after the former Pope resigned, was announced by Cardinal Protodeacon Jean-Louis Pierre Tauran.

 

Bells are ringing out and thousands are cheering "Viva il Papa!" and waving flags in St Peter’s Square in Rome after the smoke rose after the second vote on the second day of the Conclave, the gathering of the cardinals. And among the faithful Twitter followers around the world, it was noted that the account @Pontifex re-appeared.

 

The Catholic Church has been run by a college of cardinals, headed by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, while the election of its new leader was taking place.

 

The group, all of whom must be younger than 80, convene in secret and are locked inside the Vatican until they elect a new Pontiff. Any candidate needs a two-thirds majority to be elected and the college members are sworn to secrecy.

 

The new Pope is expected to appear on the balcony of St Peter’s Basilica within an hour. Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation threw the church into turmoil and exposed deep divisions among cardinals tasked with finding a manager to clean up a Vatican bureaucracy embroiled in recent scandals.

 

The new Pope, the 266th, will be tasked with reviving Catholicism in a time of growing secularism and providing spiritual leadership to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.

 

The current Conclave has been one of the fastest in years, with the successful candidate elected on the fifth ballot. Each day, two ballots are taken in a bid to reach a decision on the new Pope’s identity. They are burned immediately afterwards.

 

The quick election was a surprise 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.

 

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

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