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Catholic Church Chooses New Pope

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
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"You know that the work of the conclave is to give a bishop to Rome. It seems as if my brother cardinals went to find him from the end of the earth. Thank you for the welcome." -- Pope Francis, addressing the crowd in St. Peter's Square.

Pope Francis is getting right to work. He will celebrate his first Mass as pope in the Sistine Chapel on Thursday, and will be installed officially as pope on Tuesday, according to the Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi.

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ARGENTINE POPE

Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio is elected pope -- and he is the first pontiff from the Americas.

He has chosen the name Pope Francis.

Pope Francis has been known for years as a humble man who denied himself the luxuries that previous Buenos Aires cardinals enjoyed.

Known previously as Jorge Bergoglio, the 76-year-old often rode the bus to work, cooked his own meals and regularly visited the slums that ring Argentina's capital. He considers social outreach, rather than doctrinal battles, to be the essential business of the church.

He has in the past accused fellow church leaders of hypocrisy and forgetting that Jesus Christ bathed lepers and ate with prostitutes.

In his first appearance in St. Peter's Square as the new pope today, Francis wore a simple white robe.

RECENT POPES:
A list of popes from the 20th and 21st centuries:
Pope Francis -- March 13, 2013-
Benedict XVI -- April 19, 2005-Feb. 28, 2013.
John Paul II -- Oct. 16, 1978-April 2, 2005.
John Paul I -- Aug. 26-Sept. 28, 1978.
Paul VI -- June 21, 1963-Aug. 6, 1978.
John XXIII -- Oct. 28, 1958-June 3, 1963.
Pius XII -- March 2, 1939-Oct. 9, 1958.
Pius XI -- Feb. 6, 1922-Feb. 10, 1939.
Benedict XV -- Sept. 3, 1914-Jan. 22, 1922.
Pius X -- Aug. 4, 1903-Aug. 20, 1914.
Leo XIII -- Feb. 20, 1878-July 20, 1903.

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VATICAN CITY (AP) -- The Catholic church has chosen a new pope.

White smoke is billowing from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, meaning 115 cardinals in a papal conclave have elected a new leader for the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.

The new pope is expected to appear on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica within an hour, after a church official announces "Habemus Papum" -- "We have a pope" -- and gives the name of the new pontiff in Latin.

The conclave was called after Pope Benedict XVI resigned last month, throwing the church into turmoil and exposing deep divisions among cardinals tasked with finding a manager to clean up a corrupt Vatican bureaucracy as well as a pastor who can revive Catholicism in a time of growing secularism.

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NEXT STEPS

The 266th pope has been chosen.

Whoever he may be, he now changes into his papal white cassock, and one-by-one the cardinals approach him to swear their obedience.

He will stop and pray in the Pauline Chapel for a few minutes before emerging on the loggia of the balcony overlooking St. Peter's Square.

Preceding him to the balcony is French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the protodeacon, who announces "Habemus Papam!" Latin for "We have a pope" and then introduces him to the world in Latin.

He then emerges and delivers his first public words as the leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.

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It was a fairly quick decision.

In centuries past, conclaves dragged on for weeks and months, sometimes years. During a 13th-century conclave that stretched for weeks, a leading candidate died.

These days the discussions are much quicker. The pope was chosen in five rounds over two days.

The previous conclave that chose Benedict XVI went four rounds over two days before the Latin announcement rang out across St. Peter's Square from the basilica's balcony: "Habemus papam" -- We have a pope!

The longest conclave of the last century went on for 14 rounds over five days, and yielded Pius XI -- in 1922.

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One thing is sure -- the new pope will never truly know who voted for him.

Cardinals used to sign their names to ballots, but stopped doing so "due to an old history of intrigues and tensions, when people used to fear the most serious reprisals for their choices," says Michael Bruter, who teaches political science at the London School of Economics.

Even so, factions of cardinals will have made their views known during informal talks between votes.

Romain Lachat, a political scientist at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, says the formation of coalitions -- where voting cardinals slowly rally around a man who may only be their second or third choice -- is inevitable.

There is no formal process of elimination and cardinals can even vote for themselves -- which may explain why conclaves often need more than one round of balloting to produce a pope.

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The pope's Twitter account, whose profile was changed to read "Sede Vacante" when Benedict stepped down, now has been switched back to "Pontifex."

No tweets yet.

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PAPAL DIGS

The new pope can't move into the papal apartment just yet.

He will remain with the cardinals at the Vatican's Santa Marta hotel, an impersonal modern hotel on the edge of the Vatican gardens where they have been sequestered since the beginning of the conclave.

He will spend his first night as pontiff in a room that features a bed with a dark wood headboard and a carved image of Christ's face, as well as a sitting area and a study.

The new pope is expected to stay there for a few weeks until the papal apartment in the Apostolic Palace can be renovated. The apartment was sealed Feb. 28, just after Benedict resigned, and cannot be reopened until the new pope formally takes possession.

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DRESSED UP

The pope's new clothes were ready before he was.

The family-owned Gammarelli tailor shop, which has dressed popes for two centuries, had three sets of vestments -- in small, medium and large -- prepared for the naming of the new pontiff.

The papal outfits were on display in the window of the small wood-paneled store nestled in the shadow of the Pantheon, where the family moved in 1850 from the original founded just around the corner in 1798. They were delivered to the Vatican and left in a room next to the Sistine Chapel, ready for the new pope to change into his new clothes.

The pre-made looks haven't always fit. In 1958, the rotund John XXIII appeared on the balcony with safety pins holding together the back of his cassock.

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VATICAN SECURITY

Throngs of the faithful are in St. Peter's Square, ready to cheer the new pope when he steps out onto the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica. The vast square in Rome is a sea of umbrellas, flags and chanting crowds.

The Vatican's security force, known as the gendarmerie, is in charge of those inside the square, while Italian police handle crowd control just outside the Vatican's boundaries. Security officers from both forces include plainclothes agents dressed up as tourists, watching for any unusual movement.

A tented field hospital went up near the Vatican before the conclave began.

There have been a few "trial runs" of crowd control. Pope Benedict XVI's public audience drew so many people -- some 150,000 -- that there wasn't enough space for all in the cobblestone square.

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Statement from the President on His Holiness Pope Francis

"On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I offer our warm wishes to His Holiness Pope Francis as he ascends to the Chair of Saint Peter and begins his papacy. As a champion of the poor and the most vulnerable among us, he carries forth the message of love and compassion that has inspired the world for more than two thousand years—that in each other we see the face of God. As the first pope from the Americas, his selection also speaks to the strength and vitality of a region that is increasingly shaping our world, and alongside millions of Hispanic Americans, those of us in the United States share the joy of this historic day. Just as I appreciated our work with Pope Benedict XVI, I look forward to working with His Holiness to advance peace, security and dignity for our fellow human beings, regardless of their faith. We join with people around the world in offering our prayers for the Holy Father as he begins the sacred work of leading the Catholic Church in our modern world."


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