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Pope Francis: A Welcome Surprise to the Faithful (16257)

Reportedly runner-up in the conclave of 2005, the Church’s new Argentinian leader has all the credentials required of a pope.

03/14/2013 Comments (31)
Jeff A. Mitchell/ Getty Images News

– Jeff A. Mitchell/ Getty Images News

VATICAN CITY — Uncertainty quickly gave way to elation among the faithful that thronged St. Peter’s Square as the name of Jesuit Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was announced from the loggia of the basilica.

Few of the 100,000-strong crowd who had gathered to welcome the successor to Benedict XVI were expecting the 76-year-old Argentine cardinal to become Pope in this election.

Delight seemed initially to mix with some bewilderment as people took in the name.

But, quickly, shouts of “Fran-ce-sco” from the Roman-heavy international crowd signaled the Italians had already taken him to their hearts, helped by the fact that he has Italian ancestry.

Many Vatican watchers were predicting...READ MORE

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U.S. Political Leaders Applaud Election of Pope Francis (2966)

Former Sen. Rick Santorum calls it ‘an awesome celebration of faith in the public square.’

03/13/2013 Comments (6)
Matt H. Wade/Wikipedia

– Matt H. Wade/Wikipedia

WASHINGTON — American politicians offered prayers and congratulations upon hearing the news that Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Buenos Aires had been elected as the Successor to St. Peter, taking the name Pope Francis.

“On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I offer our warm wishes to His Holiness Pope Francis as he ascends to the Chair of St. Peter and begins his papacy,” said President Barack Obama in a March 13 statement.

Pope Francis is the first pope from the Americas, as well as the first Jesuit pope. He was elected by the College of Cardinals during the fifth vote of the conclave on March 13.

“Just as I appreciated our work with Pope Benedict XVI,” President Obama said,...READ MORE

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Vatican Pilgrims Hail the Election of Pope Francis (4332)

Initial surprise in St. Peter’s Square is quickly replaced with joy, as the new Holy Father emerges to greet his new global flock.

03/13/2013 Comments (1)
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

People talk in St. Peter's Square after newly elected Pope Francis appeared on the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica on March 13 in Vatican City. Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected as the 266th Pontiff and will lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.

– Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

VATICAN CITY — With a Colombian flag tied around her shoulders, Sister Laura Teresa took a last look back at the balcony overlooking St. Peter’s Square, where, moments before, Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio emerged to greet the world as Pope Francis.

He is the 266th pope, but the first Latin American, the first Pope Francis, the first Jesuit Pope and the first non-European since 741.

“Yes, there is history here tonight,” said the religious sister from Bogota.

Speaking amid a din from the estimated 200,000 umbrella-wielding onlookers making their way out of the vast horseshoe-shaped piazza after the end of the conclave, Sister Laura said that “I am surprised and happy that...READ MORE

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New Pope Lived Simple Life in Argentina (7577)

Pope Francis brings a pastoral approach to his ministry and is a man of prayer.

03/13/2013 Comments (2)
Mauricio Artieda/CNA

Pope Francis greets the pilgrims in St. Peter's Square and delivers his first 'Urbi et Orbi' blessing.

– Mauricio Artieda/CNA

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis lives very simply, brings a pastoral approach to his ministry and is a man of prayer, according to the Vatican’s Press Office director.

Father Thomas Rosica, the English-language assistant for the Vatican Press Office, told journalists at a hastily arranged March 13 press briefing that he talked to Pope Francis this past Sunday.

“Sunday night we were out for a walk, and he pulled me over. He took me by the hand and said, ‘I want you to pray for me. I’m a little nervous right now.’”

In February 2001, Father Rosica was at a meeting in Buenos Aires of the bishops from throughout Latin America to promote World Youth Day in Canada. He was told that Archbishop...READ MORE

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Archbishops Aquila, Chaput Welcome Pope Francis (4291)

The American archbishops ask Catholics around the world to pray for our new Holy Father.

03/13/2013 Comment
Catholic News Agency

Pope Francis

– Catholic News Agency

DENVER — American Archbishops Samuel Aquila of Denver and Charles Chaput of Philadelphia voiced gratitude to Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, for accepting election as Bishop of Rome and Vicar of Christ today.

“Today is a day of great joy for the entire Church. Pope Francis has been called to the ministry of St. Peter: to be the ‘visible source and foundation’ of unity in the Church,” Archbishop Aquila told Catholic News Agency shortly after the announcement.

“As we rejoice, Pope Francis begins what will be the most difficult period of his life. Join me in giving thanks and praise to the Father for the gift of Pope Francis. And join me in prayer and fasting for his ministry.”


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Pope Francis: Cardinals Went to End of World to Find Me (4699)

Pope Francis asked the crowd for the favor of praying for him in silence before he gave his blessing.

03/13/2013 Comments (2)
Catholic News Agency

Pope Francis greets the pilgrims in St. Peter's Square and delivers his first 'Urbi et Orbi' blessing.

– Catholic News Agency

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis began his first words to the Church by saying that the cardinals “went to the end of the world” to find the new Bishop of Rome.

“Brothers and sisters, good evening. You know that the charge of the conclave was to give a bishop of Rome. It would seem that my brothers went to the end of the world to choose him,” the Argentinian Pope said from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica.

The Pope then called on the crowd of tens of thousands to pray for “our Bishop Emeritus Benedict.”

“This way of the Church that we commence on,” he said, is one of “an evangelization in this beautiful city.”

Before he closed his remarks, Pope Francis asked the crowd for...READ MORE

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Habemus Papam: Pope Francis (9129)

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 (6732)

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

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