White Smoke Pours from Sistine Chapel, New Pope Selected

White smoke billowed from the stack at the Sistine Chapel revealing the new pope, Pope Francis I. He is the first pope to take the name of Francis in 2000 years. Pope Francis I was elected after only two days of voting, and was selected on the fifth ballot.

2005 image of Cardinal Jorge BergoglioAfter two days since the start of the voting, a new pope has been selected by the cardinals Wednesday night in Vatican City. This marks one of the fastest conclaves in history. The reported amount of votes for the new pope was at least 77 votes which are said to include over two-thirds of the cardinals.

The new successor of Benedict XVI is Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina and he has chosen the name Francis I, which was not expected of the public. He is 76-years-old and is the first non-European pontiff. The new pope was revealed to the public at approximately 3:22 p.m. live on NBC NEWS.

It is the first time in 2000 years that the world has had a pope by the name of Francis. It is believed that this shows his interest and compassion for the poor. Francis is the patron saint of animals and ecology and this also implies that the new pope takes the gospel very literally and seriously.

Before he was revealed to the public, Pope Francis I was fitted with the holy robes after accepting his duty as the pope. As the pope, he will be responsible for over 1.1 billion Catholics and will be inheriting both “the lights [and] shadows [of] the current situation of the Catholic Church” as stated by Cardinal Christoph Schӧnborn of Vienna.

The election of Pope Francis I was more than just about pastoral touch and experience, but how others gauged his ability to deal with the modern world’s problems both within and outside of the Catholic community. Currently the largest problem our new pope will have to deal with is the power struggle involved with the Vatican Bank and its management.

Pope Francis I
The first picture of Pope Francis I after his reveal

Pope Francis I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1936. He studied at a seminary in Villa Devoto and entered the Society of Jesus in 1958. He then obtained a degree in philosophy and taught psychology and literature. He entered priesthood in 1969 and later became a professor oftheology. Pope Francis I is described as being a great leader and succeeded Cardinal Quarracino in 1998.He climbed through ranks quickly and was appointed to many duties including administrative positions in the Roman Curia, such as the Congregation of Clergy, Congregation of Divine Worship and Sacraments, Congregation of Institutes of Consecrated Life as well as the Congregation of Societies of Apostolic Life. He participated in the conclave of 2005 as a cardinal elector, where Benedict XVI had been elected pope.