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Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio chosen as new pope

Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina has been elected the next pope, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran announced Wednesday night from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica. He is the first South American pope. Until last year, Bergoglio was the archbishop of Buenos Aires before stepping down because of his age. He is 76.

The new pontiff, the Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, is taking the name Francis.

He replaces Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned in February.

WGN-TV’s Dina Bair is live with the latest from St Peter’s Square.

How does the papal conclave work? Dina Bair explains here.

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New Pope Francis emerges from red curtains, looks out at the crowd in St. Peter’s Square and prepares to say his first words. (CNN)

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina is announced as the new pope. (CNN)

He’s been chosen. But his identity has not yet been revealed.

The next pope who will lead the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics was elected Wednesday by cardinals in what was apparently their 5th round of voting on the second day of their conclave.

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 they will see the new pope for the first time.

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.

Before the new pope appears in public for the first time, a number of things are happening behind the scenes.

According to the Vatican, the Cardinal Dean, Giovanni Battista Rem will ask the new pontiff: “Do you accept your canonical election as Supreme Pontiff?”

Once he accepts, he will be asked what name he will be called by, and he will say it.

It is only after that that the ballots are burned.

As people cheered the announcement that a winner had emerged from the conclave, the new pope was putting on his papal robes for the first time. Afterward, inside the Sistine Chapel, a Gospel passage is read, as well as a prayer, and the cardinals, one by one, congratulate him and promise their obedience.

Finally, the Cardinal Proto-deacon, Jean-Louis Tauran, will step onto the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica and announce the new pope, shortly before the pope himself will appear.

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.

Whoever it may be will take on the leadership of a church that has been rocked by child sex abuse scandals and corruption claims in recent years.

White or black smoke?

Earlier, black smoke poured from the chimney at 11:39 a.m., indicating that no result came from the first two rounds of votes held Wednesday morning.

The smoke came somewhat earlier in the day than expected because once the cardinals are familiar with the voting procedures, they can move relatively quickly, according to the Rev. Thomas Rosica, a Vatican spokesman.

After the two morning ballots, the cardinal-electors — those aged under 80 who are eligible to vote — went to lunch in the Casa Santa Marta hotel, where they are staying.

‘Intense period’

Black smoke also billowed from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel Tuesday night, after the cardinals failed to choose a new pope in the first vote of their conclave.

Huddled under umbrellas as rain came down, crowds of onlookers watched the chimney and big screens set up in St. Peter’s Square.

Filipino priest and CNN iReporter Joel Camaya was among a number of Catholic faithful in the square who watched as the black smoke poured out.

There was “a collective sigh of disappointment and everyone started heading home,” he said. “There was no pope, yet.”

The public interest reflects the “very intense and beautiful period” the church is experiencing at the moment, Lombardi said. “We are feeling the level of intensity of the wait. We saw many people in the square last night, a lot more than I myself had expected.”

Pope emeritus Benedict XVI also watched on television as the black smoke rose on Tuesday, Lombardi said.

Benedict had earlier watched on TV as the scarlet-clad cardinals attended a special Mass and took their oath of secrecy in the Sistine Chapel to begin the conclave to elect his successor, he said.

The Vatican received calls Tuesday night from people concerned that the heavy black smoke might have caused damage to the Sistine Chapel or created problems for the cardinals, Rosica said.

But, he said, he could confirm that the frescoes have not been damaged and that the cardinals are enjoying good health.
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Watch WGN’s Dina Bair live from Rome with reaction:
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03/13/13

Catholics anxious to see new pope

WGN’s Dina Bair is live in Vatican City describing the atmosphere after white smoke billowed from the Sistine Chapel, signifying a pope had been chosen. Now, people in St. Peter’s Square wait to find out who has been selected.

The conclave has yet to reach a consensus on a new pope.

Groups of Catholics from Italy to Chicago are sending up pink smoke in protest of lack of female representation.

Black smoke rose from the chimney fixed to the roof of the Sistine Chapel on Wednesday morning, indicating that the cardinals’ first two votes of the day were inconclusive. blacksmokepope3-13

The 115 voting cardinals are taking part in the second day of the secretive conclave to elect a new pope.

They will have two more opportunities to vote later on Wednesday.

A two-thirds majority is 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.

Whoever it may be will take on the leadership of a church that has been rocked by child sex abuse scandals and corruption claims in recent years.

No smoke emerged after the first vote Wednesday morning, meaning the cardinals then entered a second round of voting.

The black smoke that poured from the chimney at 11:39 a.m. local time (6:39 a.m. ET) indicates that no result came from that second ballot either.

The smoke came sooner than expected Wednesday, suggesting the voting is moving swiftly. The cardinals will now go to lunch, when they will be able to talk and mull their options.

The smoke comes from two furnaces set up in the Sistine Chapel especially for the vote. Chemicals are added to make the color of the smoke more obvious.

If a pope has been elected, the cardinals burn the ballots immediately. If not, the cardinals hold on to them and proceed to a second round of voting.

They burn the ballots from both rounds together after the second round.

In the past, discerning the color has been difficult at times, as it has appeared gray. But there is a second, unmistakable sign: If the smoke is indeed white, the Vatican church bells ring to celebrate the choice.

The wait for the announcement of a new Church leader should not be too long. The longest papal conclave in the past century took just five days.

Black smoke billowed from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel on Tuesday night, after the cardinals failed to choose a new pope in the first day of their conclave.

Huddled under umbrellas as rain came down, crowds of onlookers watched the chimney and big screens set up in St. Peter’s Square.

The secret process got under way earlier Tuesday on a day rich with symbolism as the scarlet-clad cardinals entered the Sistine Chapel in solemn procession, chanting prayers.

Led by the conclave’s senior cardinal, Giovanni Battista Re, each of the cardinal-electors — those under age 80 who are eligible to vote — then swore an oath of secrecy and all those not involved were ordered to leave.

The cardinals will remain locked in isolation until one candidate, almost certainly from among their number, garners a two-thirds majority, or 77 votes, and is named the new spiritual head of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.

Until that moment, the cardinals are barred from communicating with the outside world in any way. Jamming devices have been installed to prevent the use of cell phones or other devices.

The cardinals stay in the Casa Santa Marta, a Vatican City hotel, for the duration of the conclave, moving from there to the Pauline Chapel to pray or the Sistine Chapel to vote.

Applause echoed around St. Peter’s Basilica on Tuesday as Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, offered thanks for the “brilliant pontificate” of Benedict, whose unexpected resignation precipitated the selection of a new pope.

When cardinals elected Benedict in 2005, after a conclave that ran into a second day, the white smoke signaling the decision came about six hours after an earlier, inconclusive vote.

CNN’s Richard Allen Greene reported from Rome and Laura Smith-Spark wrote in London. Ben Brumfield contributed to this report.

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Father Rocky of Relevant Radio and church historian, Dan Cheely discuss the changes happening in Rome.

Dina Bair describes the rainy weather conditions outside the Vatican Wednesday and gives a tour of their pop-up tent, which she and her crew have deemed the “Vatican Bureau.” (WGN TV)

Black smoke rose from the smokestack of the sistine chapel earlier this morning confirming that the cardinals have not reached an agreement on a new pope yet.

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