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Thursday, March 14, 2013

'Pray for me,' 76-year-old Argentinian Jorge Bergoglio asks the world as he is announced as 266th pontiff... to be named Francis I


Looking out: Newly elected Pope Francis I appeared on the central balcony of St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City before tens of thousands of excited Catholics

Tens of thousands of Catholics flocked to the Vatican City last night to witness Jorge Mario Bergoglio's unveiling as Pope Francis I - the Church's first ever leader born outside Europe.
The Argentine son of an Italian railway worker was chosen as the 266th pontiff on the fifth ballot of the conclave of cardinals last night, with the Sistine Chapel's symbolic white smoke revealing the decision.
To the cardinals who chose him, it is hoped the 76-year-old's election will be a watershed moment for the world's 1.2 million Catholics.

A leader's view: Newly elected Pope Francis I appears on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica after being elected by the conclave of cardinals

The former Archbishop of Buenos Aires is the first South American and Jesuit pontiff, and will be tasked with leading the Church out of one of its darkest spells following a plethora of recent scandals.
But despite the most daunting of starts to his new role, Pope Francis I thought it best to start his first papal address with a joke.
He told the thousands of soaking Catholics huddled in the Vatican City's St. Peter's Square that the cardinals had gathered to pick a bishop of Rome but that they had 'chosen one from far away' - adding: 'Here I am'.

A first: The 76-year-old, unveiled as Jorge Mario Bergoglio, becomes both the first South American and Jesuit Pope

The multilingual Pope's birthplace will be seen as a significant move for the Church, taking the Papacy to a continent in which 42 per cent of the world's Catholics live amid a plethora of recent global scandals affecting the Vatican.
It also poses a diplomatic puzzle for Britain, which went to war with Argentina when Bergoglio was rising through the ranks of his national church.

Taking it in: Argentina's Jorge Bergoglio, elected Pope Francis I, stands at the balcony of St Peter's Basilica overlooking the huge crowd

He is first non- European Pope since the Syrian Gregory III in 731.
Known as an avid reformer, he becomes the third non-Italian Pope in a row, having being born and spent his life in the Argentinian capital.
He began his address to the crowd with a joke, saying that his brother cardinals had gathered to pick a bishop of Rome 'and they have chosen one from far away but here I am'.

Joined in prayer: Dressed in white robes with an elaborate stole, he asked the crowds to pray for his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI

He then asked for prayers for his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI.
Dressed in white robes with an elaborate stole, he said: 'First and foremost I would like to pray for our emeritus Pope Benedict XVI that Christ and the Madonna watch over him.

source: dailymail

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