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.
Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 8:01 pm
Pope Francis goes into history as the first pontiff from the New World.
For Latin America in particular, this is a momentous occasion: It is home to 483 million Catholics, or a little more than 40 percent of the global population.
Pope Francis was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, of Italian parents. At one point, he was the archbishop of the Buenos Aires diocese, which The Wall Street Journal reports, has "the largest concentration of Catholics in the world."
Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 9:41 pm
The new pope, 76-year-old Jorge Bergoglio, the archbishop of Buenos Aires, is the first pontiff from Latin America and the first Jesuit, but he appears to hold views very much in line with his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI.
Bergoglio has chosen the papal name Francis, becoming the 266th to hold the title of spiritual leader of the Catholic Church.
Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 7:30 pm
The world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics have a new spiritual leader, and for the first time is is someone from the Americas.
As afternoon turned to evening in Vatican City on Wednesday, a little after 7 p.m. local time, white smoke rose from a chimney above the Sistine Chapel and bells rang through St. Peter's Square — the traditional signals that the church's cardinals have chosen a new pope.