Crowds at St. Peter's Square at the Vatican celebrate Wednesday after seeing white smoke billow from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, indicating the election of a new pope. The new pontiff, Francis, is the first from Latin America, a reflection that the Catholic Church is now strongest in the Southern Hemisphere.
Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 7:53 pm
Leaders of the Roman Catholic Church made history twice Wednesday, electing the first pope from the Southern Hemisphere and the first Jesuit.
In choosing 76-year-old Cardinal Jorge Maria Bergoglio of Argentina, now Pope Francis, the College of Cardinals signaled the growing importance of Latin America, Africa and Asia in the church's fortunes.
But they also affirmed their commitment to traditional church doctrine.