Catholic Church Elects Argentinian as Next Pope - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Catholic Church Elects Argentinian as Next Pope

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Argentine Jorge Bergoglio Argentine Jorge Bergoglio
Vatican City -

Argentine Jorge Bergoglio has been elected pope, the first ever from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium. He chose the name Pope Francis.

White smoke is billowing from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, meaning 115 cardinals in a papal conclave have elected Bergoglio as the leader for the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.

Bergoglio appeared on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica after a church official announced "Habemus Papum" - "We have a pope" - and gave the new pontiff the Latin name - Frances I.

The conclave was called after Pope Benedict XVI resigned last month, throwing the church into turmoil and exposing deep divisions among cardinals tasked with finding a manager to clean up a corrupt Vatican bureaucracy as well as a pastor who can revive Catholicism in a time of growing secularism.

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