From the chimney of the Sistine Chapel the white smoke spoke the unspoken words today that a new pope had been elected. As reported by the Associated Press the new pope elected today, Wednesday, is Jorge Bergoglio from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Bergoglio has chosen to be named Francis in his rebirth as pope.
The bells rang out as the thousands waiting in the square chanted "We have a pope!"
With the bells ringing from St. Peter's Basilica the faithful cheered "Habemus Papam!" as the excitement grew waiting for the announcement of who would be the next pontiff. Celebration filled the air as the military bands from the Vatican and Italy marched, with the Swiss Guards following, as they passed through the crowd estimated to be over 50,000 people from around the world. Soon after the 76-year-old Bergoglio made his appearance as he waved to the onlookers.
The final vote was cast quickly and surprised the world since there was no definite front-runner.
After a surprise resignation by Pope Benedict XVI, it had been a whirlwind of activity going in to choosing the new pontiff by the cardinals. People were guessing it would be someone younger and perhaps not European but there was not one single individual that had stood out above the rest. Bergoglio was the second choice at the time when Pope Benedict XVI was selected. This is the first time that a pope has been chosen from either of the Americas.
The thousands of people sang out "Long live the pope!" waving flags in excitement. With world-wide economic worries and wars between countries this is a unique and wonderful opportunity to witness people from the many nations spanning the world coming together in a singular bond of hope for the future. May all learn to live in peace and never be afraid to dance!
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