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Mar-13-2013 12:29TweetFollow @OregonNews
Vatican Chooses New PopeSalem-News.com
The world's 1.2 billion strong Roman Catholic population has a new spiritual leader.
(VATICAN CITY) - In Vatican City on Wednesday, white smoke rose from a chimney above the Sistine Chapel just after 7:00 p.m. Bells rang through St. Peter's Square — they are traditional signals that the church's cardinals have chosen a new pope.
A cardinal from Argentina, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, is the first church leader ever chosen from South America.
The new pope, 76, will be called Francis. He is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church, and the first non-European leader of the church in over 1,000 years.
As NPR reports, the new pope and the church face a choice:
"Whether to continue an inward looking conservative path or to open up to the broader world of the faithful and introduce more collegiality, as had been indicated by the reforms of the Second Vatican Council 50 years ago."
The papal selection arrived after five votes by the 115 cardinals eligible to cast ballots.
They voted once on Tuesday, twice Wednesday morning and then twice again on Wednesday afternoon. It takes a two-thirds majority (77 in this case) to become pope.
Sources: NPR and The New York times
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