ROME (CBSMiami) – Shortly after 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time Wednesday the Holy Catholic Church revealed its new leader as Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, a Jesuit from Argentina.
Cardinal Bergoglio chose the name of Francis to be his papal name. The 76-year-old Pope Francis I was selected just after 2 p.m. Eastern Time.
The decision on the pope was made Wednesday and his selection was signified as white smoke billowed from above the Sistine Chapel.
Pope Francis is said to be known for his personal simplicity and he drew high marks as an accomplished intellectual, having studied theology in Germany.
He had previously served as the Archbishop of Buenos Aires. Pope Francis is the first pope ever from South America and first non-European pope in 1,000 years.
The Catholic Church was selecting the pope who will follow Benedict XVI, who resigned last month. It was the first time a pope had resigned the seat in more than 400 years.
Pope Francis finished in second place in the 2005 election of Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI).
The Conclave was relatively short and only five votes were needed to select the new pope.
After taking a break for lunch after two failed votes Wednesday morning, the 115 Roman Catholic cardinals tasked with selecting a new a new pontiff went back behind closed doors in the Sistine Chapel.
Shortly after Tauran’s announcement the new Holy Father will himself appear on the balcony, clad in his papal vesture, to give his first blessing. He will already have been the pope at that stage for about an hour — officially assuming the title while still inside the Sistine Chapel.
The first two votes of Wednesday morning ended with black smoke billowing out of the chapel’s chimney signifying that no candidate had received 77 votes, or a two-thirds majority consensus, and there was no new pope.
Thousands of the faithful, tourists and the just plain curious packed St. Peter’s Square anxiously waited for white smoke and the tolling of the bells which will mean a new pope has been selected.
Tim and Jody Malloy from Pennsylvania said they are trying to see the sites of Rome while on vacation, but they can’t take their eyes off St. Peter’s Square.
“Wherever we are at, we have to be in running distance,” said Tim Malloy. “When we hear the bells toll we run to the square.”
“It’s very exciting, it is very emotive and a very special place to be,” said Judith Goodchild who was visiting from England.