In a series of Conclave 2013 live updates, it appears a new pope for the Catholic Church has finally been selected. White smoke emerged from the Sistine Chapel chimney just minutes after 2 p.m. EST or 7 p.m. Rome time, signifying the voting process had come to a close with a new individual named as pope.
Update (3:19 p.m. EST): Cardinal Bergoglio of Argentina has been announced on ABC as the new pope of the Catholic Church.
On March 13, The Associated Press via ABC News reported that this election ended rather quickly, on just the second day of the conclave, with the election sealed on the fifth ballot. There had been previous speculation that voting would go on until at least Thursday. According to ABC, once the white smoke erupted from the chapel, a roar of excitement was heard from the crowds gathered below outside the Vatican. That brings a 266th pope to the Catholic Church, who will appear on the balcony and greet 1.2 billion individuals watching around the globe.
The new pope will replace Pope Benedict XVI who served in the role from from April of 2005 through February of 2013. Pope Benedict made his surprising resignation announcement just weeks ago, bringing speculation as to why he was leaving, and whom his successor would be. Among the favorites to become new pope, Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan was the favorite with odds makers heading into the Papal Conclave, with Ghana's Cardinal Peter Turkson in second place, followed by Brazil's Cardinal Odilo Scherer.
As of this report, the name and identity of the new pope is unknown, although various local stations are providing live coverage, awaiting the new pope's arrival out on the balcony to address the people with his first words as pope. Viewers can watch on local ABC affiliate station WSET 13, NBC affiliate WSLS 10 and CBS affiliate WDBJ 7, or live online via the ABC News feed here.