New pope is first from South America

    VATICAN CITY (AP) — Argentine Jorge Bergoglio has been elected pope, the first ever from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium. He chose the name Pope Francis.

     

     

    After announcing “Habemus Papum” — “We have a pope!” — a cardinal standing on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica on Wednesday revealed the identity of the new pontiff, using his Latin name.

    Bergoglio had reportedly finished second in the 2005 conclave that produced Benedict XVI — who last month became the first pope to resign in 600 years.

    The 76-year-old archbishop of Buenos Aires has spent nearly his entire career at home in Argentina, overseeing churches and shoe-leather priests.

    In Philadelphia, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput immediately released a statement, saying Pope Francis is a man from “the new heartland of the global Church.”

    “I first met our new Holy Father at Rome’s 1997 Synod for America, and still have a gift from him, a portrait of Mary, the mother of Jesus, on my desk,” Chaput said in the statement.

    He went on to say the new pope is “a man deeply engaged in the issues of contemporary life and able to speak to the modern heart; open to the new realities the Church faces; and rooted in a deep love of Jesus Christ.”

     

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