Catholic Church elects Argentinian pope

| 13/03/2013

Cardinal_Jorge_Mario_Bergoglio.jpg(BBC): Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, elected as the Catholic Church's new Pope, Francis, has greeted crowds in St Peter's Square in Rome. Appearing on a balcony over the square, he asked the faithful to pray for him. Cheers erupted as he gave a blessing. The 76-year-old from Buenos Aires is the first Latin American and the first Jesuit to be pontiff. An hour earlier, white smoke from the Sistine Chapel chimney announced the new Pope's election. He will be installed officially in an inauguration Mass on Tuesday 19 March, the Vatican said.

Pope Francis replaces Benedict XVI, who resigned last month at the age of 85, saying he was not strong enough to lead the Church. He has telephoned Benedict and is planning to meet him, a Vatican spokesman said. Pope Francis takes the helm at a difficult time for the Catholic Church, facing an array of challenges which include the role of women, interfaith tensions and dwindling congregations in some parts of the world.

The BBC's James Robbins, in St Peter's Square, says that at first the crowd was unsure who this man was, but they seemed to warm to his humour. He began his address to the crowds by offering a prayer for his predecessor. In a light-hearted moment, he said his fellow cardinals had gone to the "ends of the Earth" to find a bishop of Rome.

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  1. Just Commentin' says:

    What I want to know is this: Why must the popes all be dottering old men or dudes who are close to being dottering old men? Why not find someone without dentures, arthritis, and a prostate the size of a grapefruit?

    Geeze! Even by Biblical standards this geezer is living on borrowed time.

    At least Benedict XVI had the good judgement to bow out before he reached the age of Depends.

  2. Anonymous says:

    A new Pope means progress he will bring the Catholic Church into the fourteenth century!

  3. Anonymous says:

    The cardinals and the pope are a bunch of old gheezers who spend all their time wearing their grandmothers' doilies over red robes and debating the pros and cons of the existence of Limbo.


    Utterly irrelevant.

  4. Anonymous says:

    he’s older than the retired pope when he took office! he was 75 & this one 76! will he be there for 3 yrs and they’re back to the drawing tables again!? age should mean a lot because is this the reason why this one has been elected.


  5. Anonymous says:

    He is a Jesuit. Francis was surely chosen in honour of Francis Xavier, a most prominent Jesuit.

    He has lived a spartan life. This man is a warrior. I suggest you folk read up on the Jesuit branch of the Catholic faith.

    These people are on a mission. Perhaps we will see what that mission is on 20th March when Obama makes his (triumphant?) entry into Jerusalem. How ironic that it should be the same day that Jesus entered, just before Passover on Nisan 10 (Hebrew calendar).

    This should be fun. Let's sit back and watch the movie unfold. I wonder how close to the original script it will stay?

  6. Anonymous says:

    If there was a Pope Mackey then the Catholic Church would have received some money from the Nation Building Fund.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Fabulous, another pope who believes abortion is the culture of death and homosexuality is immoral. Well done the Catholic Church for dragging yourself further back to the Middle Ages.

    • Anonymous says:

      Although I do not agree with the Catholic Church on most things, it is correct that abortion is a culture of death as you say, and homosexuality is immoral.

      How can an innocent child be ripped out of a mother's womb and discarded like a piece of trash?

      How can two people of the same sex procreate?

      • Just Commentin' says:

        So are you implying that the sole purpose of making whoopie is procreation? Says who?

  8. Anonymous says:

    It’s about time it not a European! Black man coming in 5 years times! !


  9. Anonymous says:

    Mamma Mia! He no a Italiano!

  10. Cayman Mama says:

    It is not Francis I, but simply Francis. If there is another Pope Francis in the future, he will be Francis II.