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Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio is elected Pope

By on Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Pope Francis I

Habemus papam!

With these historic words the Church and the world welcome Pope Francis I, formerly Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio. He is the first Jesuit to be elected pope and he is the first non-European for about 1,000 years.

At 7.15pm GMT today Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran of France, the cardinal proto-deacon, stepped on to the red-draped central balcony of St Peter’s Basilica and said in Latin: “I announce to you a great joy. We have a pope: his most Eminent and Reverend Lordship, Lord Jorge Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church Bergoglio, who takes for himself the name of Pope Francis I.”

As they heard the name of the new Pope the jubilant crowd in St Peter’s Square burst into cheers and applause. Some of the pilgrims had huddled under umbrellas for hours in the rain while thousands of others rushed to the square as soon as the news of white smoke had spread.

The election came after five rounds of voting, fewer than many Vatican commentators were suggesting earlier in the week.

Dressed in white Cardinal Bergoglio, the newly elected Pope Francis I, came on to the balcony to be presented to the people and to give his first Urbi et Orbi blessing – “to the city and the world”.

After the successful vote Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, the prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Bishops, first asked Cardinal Bergoglio if he would accept his election as supreme pontiff, then after he said “Accepto”, asked him: “By what name do you wish to be called?”

The new Pope Francis I went into the red-lined “Room of Tears” for a few moments of reflection and to change into one of the three white cassocks awaiting him, then returned to the cardinals, who one by one kissed his ring in an act of homage and obedience.