White smoke: New pope elected

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White smoke emerges from the chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel, in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. The white smoke indicates that the new pope has been elected. AP PHOTO/GREGORIO BORGIA

VATICAN CITY—White smoke billowed from a Sistine Chapel chimney on Wednesday to show that a new pope has been elected to replace the frail Benedict XVI as leader of the world’s 1.2 billon Catholics.

Tens of thousands of pilgrims in St Peter’s Square cheered and the bells of St Peter’s Basilica rang out after the 115 cardinals meeting in a Vatican conclave signalled their momentous decision.

The 266th pope in the Catholic Church’s 2,000-year history—his identity is still a secret—was due to emerge from the balcony of the basilica.

The crowd chanted “Habemus Papam!” (“We Have a Pope!”) as they waited, waving flags from around the world.

Cardinals have been locked up behind the Vatican walls and cut off from the outside world since Tuesday, meeting in a sublime Renaissance chapel swept for recording devices and installed with scramblers to prevent any communication.

The smoke from the chimney was produced by burning the ballots and setting off smoke flares in two stoves specially installed in a corner of the chapel.

The decision came after five votes—longer than for Benedict’s succession to late pope John Paul II in 2005 which was decided in just four votes.

The historic election after Benedict’s abrupt resignation last month was being followed around the world on live television as as well as through social media and smartphone apps—his is the first ever tweeted conclave.

The Vatican has said the cardinal nominated to be the next pope will retire to a “Room of Tears” next to the Sistine Chapel to don his papal vestments and then pray in the Pauline Chapel before speaking on St Peter’s Square.

Brazil’s Odilo Scherer, Canada’s Marc Ouellet and Italy’s Angelo Scola—all conservatives similar to Benedict in outlook but different in style—were the three favorites but papal elections are notoriously difficult to predict.

Other possible candidates include Peter Turkson from Ghana, Luis Antonio Tagle from the Philippines and Timothy Dolan from the United States.

The odds have been stacked against cardinals from Africa and Asia — two-thirds of the voter cardinals were from North America and Europe.

All the “Princes of the Church” were appointed by Benedict or his predecessor and ideological soulmate John Paul II.

But the names of cardinals from Latin America, where the largest number of the world’s Catholics actually live, have also been in the rumour mill.

US President Barack Obama also chimed in on Wednesday, saying an American pope could be just as effective as any other, before quipping: “But the (US) conference of Catholic bishops… don’t seem to be taking orders from me.”

Benedict’s eight-year papacy was riven by scandals and the new pope will face immediate challenges — stamp his authority on the Vatican machinery and try to bring back a Catholic flock that is deserting churches across the West.

Benedict’s style was often seen as too academic and he was never as popular as his predecessor. Many of the cardinals have called for a new pope who will be a good communicator, able to reach out particularly to young people.

Conclaves are usually only held after a pope dies and are sometimes decades apart — the last one was in 2005, the one before that 1978. A popular Italian expression for things that happen very rarely is “at every death of a pope”.

The 85-year-old Benedict broke with tradition, becoming the first pontiff to resign since the Middle Ages. He has said he will retire to a former nunnery inside the Vatican — an unprecedented and delicate situation for the Church.

In one of his last acts as pope, he issued a decree allowing cardinals to bring forward the date of a conclave in cases of papal resignation — a move seen by many as potentially setting a precedent for future ageing pontiffs.

The scandal of hushed-up sexual abuses of children by paedophile priests going back decades has also cast its shadow over the conclave.

The US group SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) called for over a dozen cardinals to be excluded from the conclave either for covering up abuses or making tactless remarks about the scandals.

The Vatican on Wednesday defended the cardinals and accused SNAP and other activists of showing “negative prejudices”.

“None of us are surprised that they have tried to take advantage of these days to repeat their accusations and give them greater resonance,” Lombardi said.

“These cardinals should be respected and have every right to be in the conclave,” he said.

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  • KakaManalo

    To God be the glory, Amen.

  • Marx Louis Wang

    It is Pope Mark Louis XII!!! Known as Marlou Wang!!!!!

  • superpilipinas

    Yehey!

  • Concur_Dissent

    Pope Peter? 

  • browndarwinian

    That delicious interlude, when there isn’t a single person on earth who claims to be infallible, is unfortunately over.

  • 12JEM

    PopeSicola

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FPVUYCML46QCAJM5N2O4GNID24 tony

    I guess that once a priest reaches the rank of a cardinal, it becomes okay for that priest to  molest and rape anyone

    • UrHONOR

      NO, even a seminarian can already do that as part of the rigorous training.

  • Noel

    Since it’s now White Smoke, another White Pope has been elected.  I don’t know why they had to turn Black Smoke to White Smoke and not the other way around.  For a change, why not Black Smoke when a Pope is elected?

  • riza888

    I wish the new Pope success in cleaning house, and restoring the Catholic Church to respectability.

    • UrHONOR

      Ha ha ha…ginawa mo pang JANITOR yong bagong-lutong pope.

  • Bisdak_kaayo

    Sa vatican inip na inip ang mga tao to hear the phrase “HABEMUS PAPAM” meaning we have a Pope

    Pero sa lansangan ng Cebu, naririnig mo sa mga Bugaw gabi gabi, “HABEMUS PAMPAM” meaning we have a Prostitute.

    LOL.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2VLO53PRSSY76BZOWLOHJDM33M jeray

      Bakit Di mo sabihin sa kapatid mo bakit sya dun .sa kalye tanga

  • tuldok

    HOLY SMOKES!

  • speaksoftlylove

    Cardinal Jorge Mario Borgoglio from Buenos Aires, Argentina is the New Pope.

    Choose the name Francis the First

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/BLFTTM4M7WRIPBM7LOY2C3FHZU Santos Santos

    Pope Francis I

  • http://twitter.com/mighthur bullheaded

    The Pope is reputed to maintain a high profile and a former activist.

    Maybe He will make a radical change for good for the RCC.

    Goodluck. Viva Papa.

  • crisostomo_ibarra_the3rd

    For a while I thought it could be the very remote possibility of Cardinal Tagle being the new Pope. In any case, the jesuit new pope will bring back reforms in the catholic world. Argentinian cardinal as the new Pope meant recognition for the most catholic area of the world, the Latin Americas.

  • balut123

    Yay!!!…we have a new Pope!!!…..I heard he lives in an apartment in Buenos Aires and make his own meal and refuses to ride in a Limo…..very humble person na dapat pamarisan.

    Di katulad ng mga ibang damaso dito sa Pinas….mahilig sa Pajero…sorry po kung may tinamaan,

    • UrHONOR

      ANONG “may tinamaan”?  TINAMAAN ang TNL na LAHAT!

    • huseng_batute

       Pajero sa langit… tamaan huwag magagalit. :)

  • Boudicca Gladiatrix

    I feel sorry for the catholics for having a CRIMINAL as their pope. Read more and know more about argentinian history in the times when the militars took over the power and you will know who this pope really is. He should be in jail.

  • UrHONOR

    THE white smoke got into my eyes.  Noticed it has the appearance and taste of MongolianBBQ….. good omen.  In 2 years, there’ll be an election again, as Francis tenders his resignation due to senectus.

    • topolcats

      I was a young student (not Argentinian) in Argentina during the dirty wars, I saw for myself what kind of barbarity was perpetrated on suspected leftists and enemies of the state directed by the US and carried out by the armed forces/police of Argentina under orders from the Junta.

      In my view this New Pope Francis is a “Fascist Collaborator” who stood side by side General Videla while he knowingly knew and condoned murder and the kidnapping of children of the murdered companero’s, his indictment rests on his silence and that of the Church. He refused to be a part of an open court held in Buenos Aires and to answer questions about the involvement and stance of the Church during the times of the Junta dictatorship….. The Fifth Amendment Vatican Style!
      The Last Pope was an anti aircraft gunner for the Nazi’s in WW2,… what a pair of heroes side by side these two make in history. LOL!

      This Pope is now called a compromise pope? I agree he is a compromise pope. Because “as advertised” he is the only pope 1200 years not to come out of Europe? But apart from an Argentinian passport he might as well be European!
      He is white man from an Italian background, whose mother language is Spanish and Italian, both European languages coming from Europe. Argentinian culture which is a cross breed of European cultures predominantly Spanish and Italian with an important addition of the real home grown culture of Argentina……..I call the federal republic of Tango……..or in normal terms Tango Culture! Needless to say, I would be surprised if the Pope dances Tango?…but miracles can happen they say?

      • UrHONOR

        FRANCIS can always learn anything that has to be learned to discharge his duties and responsibilities as the head of the organization.  Else, Ratzy will just be too glad to have a company.  Let’s see….give the man time and chance to prove himself worthy of or equal to the task dumped on him.

  • UrHONOR

    NAKATANGGAP ako ng text, as follows:  “I kinda like the selection of the new pope to represent me.”  Sgd — J. Christ, S.J.

  • Hey_Dudes

    Sa Vatican kapag me usok sa bubong me bagong pope pala?  Sa Pinas pag me usok sa bubong ibig sabihin nasusunog ang bahay!

  • shots_fired

    the anti christ . .

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VS5EYSP4FPOTVQCJZ24NRE6Z2M Edgardo Mendoza

    pangit kamuka ni simson!

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