After two days spent locked up in the Sistine Chapel in The Vatican City,
the cardinals have chosen the new pope: Jesuit Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina.
“This is a remarkable moment in the history of the Church,” Editor-in-Chief of “America Magazine” Fr. Matt Malone, S.J. said. “It’s the second most important in the last month.”
Bergoglio has chosen the name Pope Francis. He is the first South American to be elevated to the papacy. At 76 years old, he is the first non-European pope in the modern era, according to CNN.
The cardinals chose a new pope to lead the Roman Catholic Church after only five ballots, according to the Chicago Tribune. The white smoke from the Sistine Chapel was an indicator that the new pontiff had collected the required two thirds majority in the fifth ballot.
The world was at a tilt with the amount of people packed in The Vatican City in Rome, Italy today, anxiously awaiting the pope to be announced on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica.
He thanked the people and his fellow cardinals. “I would like to thank you for your embrace,” Francis said, from the balcony on St. Peter’s Basilica as thousands cheered in the square. “[They] have chosen one from far away, but here I am.” He made his closing blessing before disappearing behind the curtain once more. “Pray for me,” he asked the crowd.
He is the first Pope Francis, and the third straight non-Italian pope.
Many are surprised with the cardinals choice because of Francis’ age. “I would have liked to see someone a little younger [picked], but he’s definitely up for the job,” Jo-Renee Formicola, author of “Pope John Paul II, Prophetic Politician” said.
However, in choosing Francis, the cardinals have sent a powerful message that the future of the Church lies in a man who represents the Jesuits and a third-world country, home to the bulk of the world’s Catholics.