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First Pope from Americas, Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio Chosen

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio elected pope -- first pontiff from Americas.

He will now be Pope Francis.

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VATICAN CITY (AP) -- The Catholic church has chosen a new pope.

White smoke is billowing from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, meaning 115 cardinals in a papal conclave have elected a new leader for the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.

The new pope is expected to appear on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica within an hour, after a church official announces "Habemus Papum" -- "We have a pope" -- and gives the name of the new pontiff in Latin.

The conclave was called after Pope Benedict XVI resigned last month, throwing the church into turmoil and exposing deep divisions among cardinals tasked with finding a manager to clean up a corrupt Vatican bureaucracy as well as a pastor who can revive Catholicism in a time of growing secularism.


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