VATICAN CITY (KTLA) — Catholics around the world, and especially in Latin America, are celebrating the selection of the new pope.
Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, of Argentina, is now Pope Francisco, or Pope Francis.
He is the first pope from outside Europe in more than a millennium, and the first ever pope from the Americas.
Massive crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square to see history made, some waving Argentine flags. Forty-six percent of the Catholic church is in Latin America.
The new spiritual leader of 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide is described as down to earth, a little camera shy and devoted to serving the poor.
He is known for taking public transit back in Argentina and spurning titles like “monsignor” and “your excellency.”
A total of 115 cardinals from around the world formed the secretive conclave to elect the successor to Benedict XVI.
After the fifth ballot, white smoke billowed from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel, the traditional signal to the world that a new pope has been chosen.
But the Vatican used modern technology to spread the word as well.
It sent a tweet from the papal account, @Pontifex, saying: “HABEMUS PAPAM FRANCISCUM.”
The new pope humbly asked the assembled crowd to pray for him before blessing them, expressing his eagerness to get to work.
–Lynette Romero, KTLA News