A new Pope has been chosen in Rome. The new Pontiff is Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The 76 year-old Cardinal will take the name Pope Francis, supposedly after Saint Francis of Asissi. White smoke poured out of the Sistine Chapel chimney Wednesday around 7 p.m. Roman time, 2 p.m. EST, to roars of joy from the throngs of faithful and the curious jamming St. Peter's Square, according to CNN.
“Habemus Papem” was heard announced from the balcony meaning “We have a Pope”. The new pope then greeted the masses from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica for the first time tonight. The 115 voting cardinals appear to have made their choice on the fifth vote of the second day of their conclave.
Their decision, which required a two-thirds majority, came after a week of intense meetings. The cardinal conclave followed the shocking resignation of Pope Benedict XVI last month.
Despite the troubles facing the Catholic church, the mood of the faithful at the Vatican was celebratory following the news. The first vote took place late Tuesday, according to USA Today.
Two morning votes Wednesday brought similar results, black smoke from the Sistine Chapel's chimney that meant no decision on a new pope had been reached. A decision has not come on the fifth ballot in a century.
Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran emerged to make the papal announcement to the thousands of people who rushed into the square to join those thousands of others who were already standing vigil.
The new Pope is the first non-European, and the first South American in history.