The College of Cardinals at the Vatican in Rome has chosen a new pope. White smoke rose from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, the traditional signal that the selection has been made.
A Jesuit cardinal, 76, from Buenos Aires is the new pope.
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the son of an Italian railway worker, becomes the first Jesuit and first Latin American pontiff, according to news reports.
He has taken the name Francis I.
Fairfield University President Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J., issued the following statement upon the selection of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina as the 266th pope:
“We join our brothers and sisters in Christ around the globe in saluting Pope Francis I. At this historic moment for the Church, we offer prayers for strength, wisdom, and courage for our new Pope as he assumes this great and sacred responsibility. In these complex and challenging times, there is an opportunity for renewal and reflection. The election of a pope from Latin America is an historic precedent and an expression of optimism and courage on the part of the conclave. As Pope Francis I is a member of the Society of Jesus, this is a time for great humility and gratitude for our Society. With God’s guidance, may he lead the Church to greater unity and faithfulness to her Lord and become an inspirational leader, not only for his flock, but indeed, for the world.”
Pope Francis I addressed the crowd below from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica.
Born Dec. 17, 1936 in Buenos Aires, he was ordained for the Jesuits on Dec. 13, 1969 during his theological studies at the Theological Faculty of San Miguel, according to the Vatican’s website.
He was novice master in San Miguel, where he also taught theology. He was Provincial for Argentina (1973-1979) and rector of the Philosophical and Theological Faculty of San Miguel (1980-1986). After completing his doctoral dissertation in Germany, he served as a confessor and spiritual director in Córdoba.
On 20 May 1992 he was appointed titular Bishop of Auca and Auxiliary of Buenos Aires, receiving episcopal consecration on 27 June. On 3 June 1997 was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Buenos Aires and succeeded Cardinal Antonio Quarracino on 28 February 1998. He is also Ordinary for Eastern-rite faithful in Argentina who lack an Ordinary of their own rite.
Adjunct Relator General of the 10th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, October 2001.
He served as President of the Bishops' Conference of Argentina from 8 November 2005 until 8 November 2011.
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