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Jorge Mario Bergoglio selected as new pope, named Francis

Observer Staff Report | Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina, was elected as the 266th pope today.

The former Archbishop of Buenos Aires has taken the name Francis. He is the first Jesuit and the first Latin American pope ever to hold the office, according to a report from the Associated Press.

The white smoke billowed from the roof of the Sistine Chapel just after 2 p.m. EST, the report said, meaning that the conclave elected him after five rounds of voting over two days.

About 42 percent of the world’s Catholics are from Latin America, according to the report, and Bergoglio is the first pope from outside of Europe in the modern era. He is the thirds consecutive non-Italian pope.

The new pope appeared to a crowd gathered in St. Peter’s square in the Vatican, offering a blessing to the Church. The report said he is expected to be installed to the office at a mass on Sunday.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI stepped down on Feb. 28, and the conclave met for the first time on Tuesday to elect his successor.