By Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76 was elected the 266th pope and took the name Francis.
The election March 13 came on the first full day of the conclave on the conclave's fifth ballot. It was a surprisingly quick conclusion to a conclave that began with many plausible candidates and no clear favorite.
The Latin American pope, a Jesuit, was chosen by at least two-thirds of the 115 cardinals from 48 countries, who cast their ballots in secret in the Sistine Chapel.
His election was announced in Latin from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, to a massive crowd in the square below and millions watching around the world.
White smoke poured from the Sistine Chapel chimney at 7:05 p.m. signaling that the cardinals had chosen a successor to retired Pope Benedict XVI. At 7:07 p.m., the bells of St. Peter's Basilica began pealing continuously to confirm the election.