Newly elected Pope Francis I appears on the central balcony of St Peter’s Basilica on March 13, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected as the 266th Pontiff and will lead the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics. Credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
White smoke billows up from chimney of the Sistine Chapel, the bells of St. Peter’s Basilica are ringing, and everyone eagerly awaits the new pope, who will soon emerge from the Vatican’s white curtains. The 115 cardinals have made their selection after just over a day of deliberation.
About an hour later and to the surprise of many, Argentine Jorge Mario Bergoglio stepped out onto the balcony. He’s taking the name Francis, the first pope to do so. He’s also the first Jesuit pope, the first pope from the Americas, and the first non-European pope in over a thousand years.
What are your reactions to this selection? Why was Bergoglio chosen? Does he appeal to younger and progressive Catholics? What will he bring to the papacy and the Catholic Church?
Robert Moynihan, Editor of “Inside the Vatican”
Cecil M. Robeck, professor of church history and ecumenics at Fuller and an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God
Charles Reid, Professor of Law, University of St.Thomas, religion writer for Huffington Post
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