VATICAN CITY (www.incnow.tv) - Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ, of Argentina, was elected pope by 115 cardinals Wednesday. His Holiness chose the name Pope Francis I, and was introduced to the world.
"Let's pray always for each other," Pope Francis says. "Let's pray for the whole world. May there be a great brotherhood."
Pope Francis, 76, previously served as Jesuit archbishop of his native Buenos Aires. He is the first South American pontiff.
Around 2 p.m. EDT, white smoke billowed from the chimney atop the Sistine Chapel and the Bells of St. Peter's Square tolled Wednesday as the Roman Catholic cardinals elected a new supreme pontiff of the Church.
Bishop Kevin Rhoades of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend lauded Pope Francis, and the influence he could have on Latinos in Northeast Indiana and around the world.
"I think our Hispanic community in the diocese will be very excited," Bishop Rhoades says. "The largest number of Catholics in the world are from Latin America, if you look at the different continents. So, it is significant."
Bishop Kevin Rhoades On Pope Francis I
The election of a Latin American pope is being celebrated in Fort Wayne's Hispanic community.
"First of all he speaks my language, thank God," Efrem Perez, a parishioner at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Fort Wayne. "We're going to have a better idea, Latinos, about what's going on with the Latino pope." Perez is originally from Mexico.
"May be strengthened," Fr. Andrew Thu Pham, pastor of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Fort Wayne, prayed as part of the petitions at a Mass on Tuesday. "As he embarks on his ministry of unity, love and peace."
Pope Francis had to receive 77 of 115 cardinals' votes to be elected pope. Conclave rules keep papal elections a vow of secrecy, so Francis' election could be attributed to any number of factors.
"To me, he's what I would call a non-European European," Carol Cornell, a Fort Wayne papal historian says. "His parents were born in Italy, and immgrated to Argentina. So, he has that bridge back to Italy, back to Europe."
Papal Historian Carol Cornell On Pope Francis
"As you know the duty of the conclave is to give Rome a bishop," Pope Francis joked to the crowd gathered at St. Peter's Square. "It seems that my brother cardinals went almost to the end of the world."
The papal installation Mass will be Tuesday, March 19.
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