Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio from Argentina has been announced as the new Pope.
Bergoglio, 76, has chosen the name Francis, according to Vatican Radio.
He is the first pope from outside of Europe in the modern era, the first South American pope, and the third straight non-Italian pope.
Crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square — as well as millions of people watching on television around the world — were fixed upon the balcony where the new pope appeared for the first time.
“As you know, the duty of the conclave was to appoint a bishop of Rome,” he told a cheering crowd of thousands packed into St. Peter’s Square. “It seems to me that my brother cardinals have chosed one who is from faraway. … Here I am. I would like to thank you for your embrace.”
Here in Chicago, the election of a new pope will be marked by a Mass of Thanksgiving (Mass for the Pope) celebrated at Holy Name Cathedral at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday. The mass is open to the public.
Moments after the newly elected Pope Francis addressed a large Vatican City crowd for the first time since being elected pontiff, a message on the pope’s Twitter account — which had been dormant since Benedict XVI stepped down — said, “Habemus Papam Franciscum.” That translates, from Latin, as, “We have Pope Francis.”
The result of the vote was heralded by white smoke rising from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel. Bells also rang just after 7 p.m. (2 p.m. ET), confirming that the 115 cardinals had elected the man who will succeed Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned unexpectedly last month.
Seventy-seven votes were required to confirm a new pontiff to step into the shoes left empty by the historic resignation of Benedict XVI at the end of last month.