Habemus Papam – New Pope Francis I Declared in Rome

The Conclave has declared a new Pope, signaled by white smoke rising from the Sistine Chapel. Argentine Cardinal Jorge Maria Bergoglio chooses the regnal name Francis I as he assumes the papacy in Rome. The Argentinean has spent his entire ministry in Argentina and is known for his soft spoken, pastoral style. Francis I succeeds Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI who resigned following his personal concerns about his ability to lead the Roman Catholic Church and Curia. Francis I is both the first Jesuit pope as well as the first from the Americas. Francis I’s ascension to the office of Saint Peter was heralded with celebrations in Rome and Buenos Aires, the capital of his native home Argentina. 77 of the 115 Cardinals gathered for the Conclave would have had to have voted for Jorge Maria Bergoglio to succeed. The cardinals marked this election with the traditional symbol of emitting white smoke from the chapel.