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Jorge Mario Bergoglio Elected Pope Francis I

popefrancis

Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio has been elected as Pope and has chosen the Papal name Pope Francis I, thus becoming the first pontiff from the Americas and also the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium.

Pope Francis, aged 76 and now former archbishop of Buenos Aires, appeared on the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica just after 7.00pm Irish time and after white smoke poured from a chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel, latter signalling he had been chosen to lead the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.

Dressed for the first time in the white robes of his office, His Holiness urged the crowd “Pray for me.” He asked for prayers for himself, and for retired Pope Benedict XVI, whose recent resignation paved the way for the first ever Jesuit to join the papacy.

Pope Francis studied chemistry before joining the priesthood, and is the first non-European pope since Syrian born Gregory III in the eighth century, and the third successive non-Italian pontiff to be elected to this high office.

Pope Francis becomes the 266th pontiff in the Catholic Church’s 2,000-year history and his election was announced by French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran with the Latin words “Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum. Habemus Papam” (Translated: “I announce to you a great joy. We have a pope.”)

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