Pope Francis I; Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio Named 266th Pope
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 new pope, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergogio (HOHR'-hay MAH'-ree-oh bur-GOHG'-lee-oh), who is 76, has spent nearly his entire career at home in Argentina, overseeing churches and shoe-leather priests.
The archbishop of Buenos Aires reportedly got the second-most votes after Joseph Ratzinger in the 2005 papal election, and he has long specialized in the kind of pastoral work that some say is an essential skill for the next pope.
In a lifetime of teaching and leading priests in Latin America, which has the largest share of the world's Catholics, Bergoglio has shown a keen political sensibility as well as the kind of self-effacing humility that fellow cardinals value highly.
Bergoglio is known for modernizing an Argentine church that had been among the most conservative in Latin America.
Francis, the name the new pope has chosen, is a much-beloved Italian saint who is identified with peace, poverty and a simple lifestyle.
Jorge Bergoglio is the first pontiff from Latin America and the first pontiff to adopt the name of Francis, the rich young man from Assisi who renounced wealth and founded the Franciscan order of friars in 1290. The choice could foretell the pope's priorities in striving to bring a sense of serenity to the troubled church. St. Francis is said to have been called by God to repair a church in ruins.
Choosing the name of one of Italy's patron saints also ties the new pope to Italy, the homeland of all popes of the last few centuries until 1978.