New Pope Francis I speaks, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, first pope from Latin America

By on Mar 14, 2013 in Europe, World Comments

Updated: March 17, 2013 6:00 p.m.

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The new Pope Francis I made his first appearance this Wednesday, March 13, 2013, shortly after a white smoke appeared on the chimney of the Sistine Chapel. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was chosen as the successor of Benedict XVI, who resigned effective February 28.

New Pope Francis I Jorge Mario Bergoglio

New Pope Francis I, speaking on the balcony of
the St. Peter’s Basilica for the first time

Image Credit: CNN video

As aired live at CNN on Wednesday afternoon, Pope Francis I is the first pope from Latin America and is also the first non-European pope in a thousand years. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who wore the white papal suit, spoke in front of thousands of cheering Catholics on the balcony of the St. Peter’s Basilica.

According to the report, the white smoke appeared at around 2 pm ET (7 pm in Rome) and bells in Vatican were heard ringing, signaling that a new pope has been chosen by the eighth General Congregation of the College of Cardinals. The 115 cardinals-electors spent two days in choosing the next pope.

“Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum. Habemus Papam” (I announce to you a great joy. We have a Pope) French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran told the crowd in Latin, before Pope Francis I appeared on the balcony of the cathedral. He received at least two-thirds majority of the 115 cardinal-electors.

“As you know, the duty of the conclave was to appoint a bishop of Rome. It seems to me that my brother cardinals have chosen one who is from faraway…Here I am. I would like to thank you for your embrace.” Pope Francis I said on his speech. Bergoglio, 76, was elevated to cardinal in 2001.

Some reports said that Bergoglio was a surprise choice to be announced as the new pope, and that he is not among the alleged frontrunner candidates before the papal conclave. Others noted that they are expecting a younger pope.

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