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March 13, 2013
Argentine Jorge Bergoglio elected Pope Francis

VATICAN CITY (AP) - Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina was elected pope Wednesday and chose the name Francis, becoming the first pontiff from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium.

Looking stunned, Francis shyly waved to the crowd of tens of thousands of people who gathered in St. Peter's Square, marveling that the cardinals needed to look to "the end of the earth" to find a bishop of Rome.

In choosing a 76-year-old pope, the cardinals clearly decided that they didn't need a vigorous, young pope who would reign for decades but rather a seasoned, popular pastor who would draw followers to the faith. The cardinal electors overcame deep divisions to select the 266th pontiff in a remarkably fast, five-ballot conclave.

Francis asked for prayers for himself, and for retired Pope Benedict XVI, whose surprising resignation paved the way for the conclave that brought the first Jesuit to the papacy.

(19 images)




pope_frances_01.jpg
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, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who chose the name of Pope Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. AP / Emilio Morenatti
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Pope Francis speaks from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio who chose the name of Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. AP / Luca Bruno
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Visitors take photos of Pope Francis as he speaks from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who chose the name of Francis is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. AP / Michael Sohn
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Crowds cheer 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, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. AP / Dmitry Lovetsky
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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 / Gregorio Borgia
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A barefoot faithful kneels in prayer in St. Peter's Square as cardinals are gathered in the Sistine Chapel for the second day of the conclave to elect a new pope, at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. AP / Emilio Morenatti
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In a photo taken with a fisheye lens, crowds gather in St. Peter's Square to wait for the election of a new pope by the cardinals in conclave in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. AP / Andrew Medichini
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A woman prays in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. AP / Gregorio Borgia
pope_frances_09.jpg
People watch on a video monitor in St. Peter's Square as Monsignor Guido Marini, master of liturgical ceremonies, closes the double doors to the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City Tuesday, March 12, 2013, at the start of the conclave of cardinals to elect the next pope. Marini closed the doors after shouting "Extra omnes," Latin for "all out," telling everyone but those taking part in the conclave to leave the frescoed hall. He then locked it. AP / Michael Sohn
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Faithful follow a Mass taking place inside St.Peter's Basilica for the election of a new pope, broadcast on a giant screen, not pictured, in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 12, 2013. AP / Emilio Morenatti
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A nun follows a Mass taking place inside St.Peter's Basilica for the election of a new pope, broadcast on a giant screen, not pictured, in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 12, 2013. AP / Emilio Morenatti
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A pilgrim kneels in St. Peter's Square during a mass at St. Peter's Basilica attended by cardinals before sequestering themselves in the Sistine Chapel for the conclave to elect the next pope at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 12, 2013. AP / Michael Sohn
pope_frances_13.jpg
Catholic nuns gather after a Mass for the election of a new pope outside St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 12, 2013. AP / Oded Balilty
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A Catholic nun prays inside the Metropolitan Cathedral in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Tuesday, March 12, 2013. Cardinals from around the globe locked themselves inside the Sistine Chapel on Tuesday to choose a new leader for the world's 1.2 billion Catholics and their troubled church. AP / Natacha Pisarenko
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A woman prays inside the Metropolitan Cathedral in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Tuesday, March 12, 2013. AP / Natacha Pisarenko
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People stand in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 12, 2013. AP / Gregorio Borgia
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People attend a Mass for the election of a new pope inside St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 12, 2013. AP / Oded Balilty
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People attend a Mass for the election of a new pope inside St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 12, 2013. AP / Oded Balilty
pope_frances_19.jpg
In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, cardinals, in red, attend a Mass for the election of a new pope celebrated by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, figure at the center of the stage beneath the Bernini baldachin, inside St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 12, 2013. AP / L'Osservatore Romano

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