Shortly after 7 p.m., in Vatican City, white smoke rose from the chimney above the Sistine Chapel. The white smoke signaled the election of a new pope to succeed Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. A March 13 Chicago Tribune article broke the news online. Television broadcasts are showing scenes of a jubilant crowd and close ups of the smoke. The Bells of St. Peters have rung, signifying that the new pope was elected and has accepted the position. According to a March 12 article, UPI identified French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran as the man to give the "habemus papam," the formal announcement of the name of Benedict XVI's successor as pope to the world.
The announcement was given in Latin and Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina is the world's new pontiff. He is the first pope from South America and the first to take the name of Francis.
Tens of thousands of people remain in St. Peter's Square as they celebrate a new leader of the Catholic Church and await the coming news of his current and new identity.
After receiving more than a 2/3 majority vote, the new pontiff answered two questions. The first question confirmed that he accepts and will be pope. The second question asked him to reveal his new name as the Successor to St. Peter and spiritual father to the world's Roman Catholics.
The new pope was elected after only five vote castings. This is the first time in history when the Church has two living popes.