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Associated Press
People react after white smoke billowed from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel indicating that a new pope has been elected in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who chose the name of Pope Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church.

Election of the Pope

Crowds elated to have new pope

Before they even saw his face, Pope Francis had already won over the Roman masses.

The announcement that he would be known by the same name as St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of Italy, sent the crowd into ecstasy.

He did even better with his first words, when Francis said the cardinals had reached to the “end of the earth” to find the bishop of Rome – recalling the beloved Pope John Paul II, a Polish cardinal who told his first crowd in 1978 that cardinals had called him “from a far country.”

The former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio is the son of an Italian immigrant and his Italian is only lightly accented.

Francis announces he will visit Benedict

Pope Francis will visit his predecessor Benedict XVI at the papal retreat in Castel Gandolfo south of Rome.

U.S. Cardinal Timothy Dolan says Francis told fellow cardinals following the conclave that made him pope: “Tomorrow morning, I’m going to visit Benedict.”

Benedict resigned on Feb. 28, becoming the first pope to do so in nearly 600 years.

First Mass

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

Latin pride

Paolo Olivares, a 29-year-old seminarian from Chile, says it’s very important to have a Latin American pope.

“Yes, yes, yes! I think it’s a change that the church needs,” he says. “I think Cardinal Bergoglio has done a great job in Argentina and he will do even better in Rome.”

Maggy Pena, a 45-year-old Rome resident from the Dominican Republic, was ecstatic, jumping up and down and screaming out her pride in being Latina.

“I’m so happy because the new pope is from Latin America. That means we are a big people,” she said. “For the first time we have a pope. And next we will have an American president. You’ll see!”

–Associated Press

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