New Pope Elected

Jorge Bergoglio Francis

Smoke poured from the Sistine Chapel around 7:06 p.m., Vatican City time Wednesday signaling that a new Pope had been chosen, according to Vatican Radio.

"...white smoke pouring out of the Sistine Chapel chimney signals the Cardinals had reached consensus on a candidate in the second round of balloting Wednesday afternoon. This means that at least two thirds, or 77 of the 115 cardinals gathered in conclave since Tuesday afternoon are united in their support for the candidate who has now become the 265th successor of St Peter," Vatican radio broadcasted.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio is the first to take the name Francis and the first Latin-American pope to be elected. He is also the first Jesuit pope.

Bishop Curtis Guillory of the Beaumont Diocese reacted to Pope Francis' election in an interview with the Examiner.

"I think he was chosen because he is a very holy man, and he has a great love for the poor, which is why he chose the name Francis — referring of course to St. Francis of Assisi," Bishop Guillory said. "Secondly, I think they wanted to put an emphasis on the vibrancy of the third-world — Latin America, yes, but also Africa and Asia, where the Catholic Church is growing by leaps and bounds. I've been to those areas and you can just see the liveliness and the the deep faith of the people.  By picking a Latin American, where of course 40% of the Catholic population lives, they wanted to recognize and raise up the areas of the world where the Church is very alive. These countries are also the most poor. All of it comes together and —to me— makes a lot of sense."

According to the Vatican's website, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born on Dec. 17, 1936 in Buenos Aires. He was ordained for the Jesuits on Dec. 13, 1969 during his theological studies at the Theological Faculty of San Miguel.

He was novice master in San Miguel, where he also taught theology. He was Provincial for Argentina (1973-1979) and rector of the Philosophical and Theological Faculty of San Miguel (1980-1986). After completing his doctoral dissertation in Germany, he served as a confessor and spiritual director in Córdoba.

On May 20, 1992 Bergoglio was appointed titular Bishop of Auca and Auxiliary of Buenos Aires, receiving episcopal consecration on June 27. On June 3, 1997 was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Buenos Aires and succeeded Cardinal Antonio Quarracino on Feb. 28, 1998. He is also Ordinary for Eastern-rite faithful in Argentina who lack an Ordinary of their own rite.

Bergoglio served as Adjunct Relator General of the 10th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, October 2001.

He served as President of the Bishops' Conference of Argentina from Nov. 8, 2005 until Nov. 8, 2011.

He was created and proclaimed Cardinal by the Bl. John Paul II in the consistory of Feb. 21, 2001, of the  Title of S. Roberto Bellarmino (St. Robert Bellarmine).

He was also a member of:

  • Congregations: for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments; for the Clergy; for  Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life ;
  • Pontifical Council for the Family;
  • Pontifical Commission for Latin America.
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