VATICAN CITY (RNS) Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected as Pope Francis I on Wednesday (March 13), after only two days of voting in the conclave tasked with choosing the Benedict XVI’s successor.
French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran announced the name of the new pope from the balcony of St. Peter’s facade, known as the Loggia of the Blessings.
“Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum: Habemus Papam,” he said using the traditional Latin formula.
White smoke billowed from the chimney atop the Sistine Chapel at 7.06pm, as the bells of St. Peter’s basilica started ringing and thousands of people cheered in St. Peter’s square.
Cardinals reached the two thirds majority needed for the election of a new pope after only two days of voting.
On Tuesday afternoon, the conclave started with a solemn ceremony in the Sistine Chapel, before the secret balloting began.
The timing of the white smoke suggests that the new pope was elected after five ballots.