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Mar-13-2013 12:29printcomments

Vatican Chooses New Pope

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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Ralph E. Stone March 13, 2013 5:05 pm (Pacific time)

As the whole world now knows, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected Pope (Pope Francis) today. Clearly, the cardinals saw him as a safe, compromise choice. He holds traditional Catholic Church views otherwise he would not have been elected. That is, he opposes abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, same-sex marriage, adoption by gays and lesbians, and contraception.

He was criticized by human rights activists for not openly confronting the terrorism by the Argentine dictatorship in the 1970s that was kidnapping and killing thousands of people as it sought to eliminate "subversive elements."

How will he deal with the various scandals, including pedophile priests, blackmail and money laundering allegations (the "Vatileaks" incident), facing the Catholic Church? Will he sweep them under the rug or institute real reform? I suspect the former, not the latter, but only time will tell.

The larger question is whether the Catholic Church has become too rich, powerful, and corrupt. If so, perhaps the Pope should cede all the church holdings to the poor and resume the church's mission in poverty. Is this likely? A resounding "no."

DJ: I was just starting to get used to a Popeless world. 

gp March 13, 2013 1:51 pm (Pacific time)

the really good news from Argentina is this: Former Argentine Dictator Sentenced for Campo de Mayo Abuses Facebook_20 Twitter_20 Reddit_20 Email_20 Addthis_20 Argentina’s last dictator, Reynaldo Bignone, has been given a new life sentence over the kidnappings and disappearances of political opponents and the deliberate theft of babies from political prisoners. Bignone and two other defendants were convicted on Tuesday for crimes at the Campo de Mayo, a military base used by the dictatorship during its rule from 1976 to 1983. The three are already serving jail sentences for other abuses under their military regime. Bignone is currently being tried in another case focusing on Operation Condor, a coordinated effort by Latin American military rulers to target their political opponents in the 1970s and 1980s. old Bush and Cheny and Wolfowitz and their ilk can't rest safe. The crimes being punished this week are from the 1970's. They will pay too. And so will those child molesting popish priests who wear dresses and hate women.

Anonymous March 13, 2013 12:46 pm (Pacific time)

I happen to believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ, but I dont like the vatican..Here is a quick video explaining a small portion of what it is..its a circus to control the sheeple.

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