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Habemus Papam: Pope Francis (8843)

Formerly Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina, he was elected on the conclave's fifth ballot as the 266th Roman Pontiff of the Catholic Church.

03/13/2013 Comments (30)
Reuters/Dylan Martinez

– Reuters/Dylan Martinez

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires has become the next Pope of the Catholic Church, taking the name Francis.

Pope Francis greeted the crowds of faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square shortly after 8pm local time, after spending time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament in the Pauline Chapel.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, was archbishop of Buenos Aires. He is a Jesuit and is 76. He is the first Latin-American Pope and the first Jesuit Pope. In 2005, he received the second-most votes in the conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI.

He entered the Society of Jesus in 1958 and obtained a licentiate in philosophy. He was ordained a priest in 1969 and taught as a...READ MORE

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New Pope Has Been Elected (6292)

White smoke has just appeared from the Sistine Chapel chimney.

03/13/2013 Comments (5)
CNA/Jeffrey Bruno

– CNA/Jeffrey Bruno

VATICAN CITY — White smoke issued from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel at 7:08pm Rome time. The smoke indicates that the Catholic Church’s 115 cardinal electors have chosen a new Pope to succeed Benedict XVI, who resigned the papacy Feb. 28.

 The new Pope’s election appears to have occurred on the fifth ballot. The cardinal electors have been secluded in conclave since the afternoon of March 12, voting for Benedict’s successor.

 After observing the behind-the-scenes formalities that follow the election, the new Pope will be introduced to the world in about 45 minutes. Speaking from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica, he will address the vast crowd that is now gathering in St....READ MORE

Filed under catholic church, conclave, papacy, vatican city

What Happens Behind the Scenes of a Papal Election? (3525)

After white smoke issues from the Sistine Chapel chimney, a number of formalities are observed before the new Pope appears on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica.

03/13/2013 Comments (1)

VATICAN CITY — The span of time between being elected pope and appearing on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica is about 45 minutes. But what exactly happens in that time?

Right after the name of the new pope is being read out loud in the Sistine Chapel, the junior Cardinal James Harvey, the junior cardinal deacon, will summon the secretary of the College of Electors and the master of papal liturgical ceremonies back to the Sistine Chapel.

The acting dean, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, will then — in the name of the whole College of Electors — ask the consent of the newly elected with the words: “Do you accept our canonical election as Supreme Pontiff?”

Having received his assent,...READ MORE

Filed under catholic church, conclave, papacy

Cardinal Scherer: A Strong Candidate From the Developing World (3077)

Personable and fluent in several major languages, the Brazilian cardinal has many of the qualities regarded as desirable for a future pope.

03/13/2013 Comment
CNA/Stephen Driscoll

– CNA/Stephen Driscoll

VATICAN CITY — If the cardinal electors were to choose a pope from the developing world, one of the strongest candidates is Brazilian Cardinal Odilo Scherer.

As archbishop of São Paolo, one of the most complex and challenging dioceses in the world, with more than 20 million souls, Cardinal Scherer appears, on paper at least, to have all the main qualities needed to be the next pope.

Faithful to tradition but pragmatic, Cardinal Scherer is robustly pro-life, reputed to be a firm decision-maker, and, as a Brazilian with German ancestry, he bridges the gap between Europe and the developing world. At 63, many believe he is the ideal age to become pope.

Born on Sept. 21, 1949 — the...READ MORE

Filed under catholic church, college of cardinals, papabile, papacy

Dynamics of Conclaves 2005 and 2013 Very Different (3327)


03/13/2013 Comments (1)
Catholic News Agency

– Catholic News Agency

ROME — Despite an enormous amount of media chaff throughout April 2005, it was clear to those with eyes to see that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was the obvious, leading candidate to succeed John Paul II. There is no such clear front-runner in 2013, although even more journalistic chaff is being vented into the atmosphere, primarily from Italian media sources whose ability to distinguish fact from fiction is not overly well-developed and who like to play Machiavellian games with this candidate and that.

Why no front-runner? As the general congregations of cardinals began on March 4, no cardinal had anything resembling the stature and authority of Cardinal Ratzinger in 2005; that's...READ MORE

Filed under catholic church, catholic faith, conclave, papacy, roman curia, vatican city

A Ritual Church, at Conclaves and All Other Times (1796)

Book Pick: ‘Church Visible,’ in new and old editions, provides the meaning behind the ceremonious life of the Church that’s currently on prominent display in Rome.

03/13/2013 Comment

The Church Visible:

The Ceremonial Life and Protocol of the Roman Catholic Church [Hardcover]

By James-Charles Noonan Jr.

Sterling Ethos, 2012

512 pages, $23

To order: amazon.com


In the last month, with the abdication of Pope Benedict, the sede vacante (empty chair of Peter), the gathering of the cardinals in Rome and now the conclave in session, the ceremonial life of the Catholic Church has held the attention of the world. The protocols, the rituals, the symbols each have ancient, and sometimes not so ancient, meaning.

The Church Visible: The Ceremonial Life and Protocol of the Catholic Church by James-Charles Noonan Jr. (first edition), published in 1996 by Viking,...READ MORE

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Understanding Awaits Those Who Turn to the Lord (2449)

COMMENTARY: Part of a Register series on the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

03/13/2013 Comments (1)

Detail of ‘Supper at Emmaus’ by Caravaggio

– Wikipedia

During Jesus’ earthly ministry, he often had a hard time being understood. The Gospels record numerous moments in which he made cryptic remarks that either made no sense to his hearers or, worse, were completely misunderstood at the time he made them.

“Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19) was taken by his enemies as some sort of terrorist threat and, in garbled form, used as evidence against him at his trial (“We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another not made with hands’” (Mark 14:58).

Jesus told parables that were not understood and often scandalized even those who loved him. Even...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, confirmation, gifts of the holy spirit, understanding

No Pope After Third Round of Voting (2813)

Black smoke this morning signals two more rounds of voting without a final result.

03/13/2013 Comment
Catholic News Agency/Jeffrey Bruno

Dark smoke wafts this morning from the Sistine Chapel chimney.

– Catholic News Agency/Jeffrey Bruno

VATICAN CITY — At 11:38am local time on March 13, black smoke rose from the Sistine Chapel’s chimney, indicating that the cardinals gathered at the Vatican have not yet reached an agreement on the next pope.

Voting began on the evening of March 12, yielding an initial inconclusive vote marked by black smoke at 7:43pm local time.

Two more rounds of voting will be held in the afternoon, with a smoke signal expected between 7 and 8pm Rome time.

As a general rule, four rounds of voting and two smoke signals will take place each day until a pope is chosen. The exception to that rule occurs when a pope is selected on either the morning or the afternoon’s first ballot. In that case, the...READ MORE

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