Vatican City: As white smoke billowed out of the Sistine Chapel’s chimney on Wednesday, 115 cardinals from around the globe elected a new Pope from Argentina, Jorge Mario Bergoglio.
The 76-year-old new Pope will be known as Francis I and he is the first Pope from South America.
Addressing the cheering crowd outside the Sistine Chapel, Pope Francis blessed the people saying, "Thanks you for your warm acceptance."
Pope Francis, in his first words after election, says his fellow cardinals "went to the end of the world" to find a new Pope.
Tens of thousands of people who braved cold rain to watch the smokestack atop the Sistine Chapel jumped in joy when white smoke poured out with many shouting "Habemus Papam!" or "We have a pope!". As the bells of St. Peter's Basilica and churches across Rome pealed.
In the first round on the second day of voting to elect a new Pope, the College of Cardinals had failed to elect a Pontiff and black smoke had emerged from the chimney.
The conclave was called after Pope Benedict XVI resigned last month, throwing the church into turmoil and exposing deep divisions among cardinals tasked with finding a manager to clean up a corrupt Vatican bureaucracy as well as a pastor who can revive Catholicism in a time of growing secularism.
First Published: Wednesday, March 13, 2013, 23:51