As soon as we posted that last post about the decision on the new Pope we saw the announcement of the new Pope come across our timeline. Argentina’s Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio is the new Pope, Francis I. He becomes the first Pope from South America which seems to suggest the Church is looking for a more progressive direction heading into the future. A progressive direction is one of the key points that people were scrutinizing in relation to the choice of the new Pope. Headline wise it seems the Catholic Church is moving in the direction of the shifting demographics, however some people are saying based off the fact the chosen person comes from Argentina, Bergoglio may not be as progressive as the headlines are suggesting. Hit the jump for some updates on the historical event.
By MARK MEMMOTT
The world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics have a new spiritual leader.
As afternoon turned to evening in Vatican City on Wednesday, a little after 7 p.m. local time, white smoke rose from a chimney above the Sistine Chapel and bells rang through St. Peter’s Square — the traditional signals that the church’s cardinals have chosen a new pope.
A little more than an hour later, his identity was announced. It is 76-year-old Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina. He comes from a region of the world with 483 million Catholics — about 40 percent of all the church’s faithful.
Now, as NPR’s Sylvia Poggioli has said, the new pope and the church face a choice: “Whether to continue an inward looking conservative path or to open up to the broader world of the faithful and introduce more collegiality, as had been indicated by the reforms of the Second Vatican Council 50 years ago.”
We’ll have much more about the new pope and what his selection means as the day continues. Be sure to hit your “refresh” button to see our latest updates.
The papal selection came after five votes by the 115 cardinals eligible to cast ballots. They voted once on Tuesday, twice Wednesday morning and then twice again on Wednesday afternoon. It takes a two-thirds majority (77 in this case) to become pope.