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The newest pope, Pope Francis

Catholic Church Welcomes a New Pope


The newest pope, Pope Francis
The newest pope, Pope Francis

The Catholic Church rejoices as they welcome Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the newly elected Pope.

Cardinal Bergoglio, now as Pope Francis is the 266th pontiff and the new leader of world’s 1.2 billion Catholics after five rounds of voting in the 155-member cardinal conclave that started last March 12.

He is the first Latin American pope, and the first Jesuit pope from Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is also the first non-European Pope in 1,300 years and the first one to take the name Francis, after St. Francis of Assisi.

At 76 years old, Pope Francis was not a front-runner among the ‘papabile’ to replace retired Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

But he was said to be a runner-up in the 2005 election of the retired pope.

After a white smoke on the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, signaling that there had been chosen a new pope, where two-thirds vote of the cardinal-electors was achieved, Pope Francis came out at the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica as he was cheered by thousands of pilgrims outside.

Pope Francis is also known as a simple, humble man, who rides trains and buses. Recently, he had conflict with the Argentine government due to his opposition of gay marriage and the distribution of contraceptives.

The new pope’s inauguration mass will take place on Tuesday at the Feast of St. Joseph who is the patron saint of the universal Church.

Meanwhile, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle thanked the Filipinos for their prayers for the cardinal electors and urged them to celebrate with the whole Catholics in the world for having Pope Francis as the new pontiff.

Cardinal Tagle also mentioned that the new pope has high hopes for the Philippines.

The Filipino Cardinal was said to be among those seen as the papal replacement. But his non-appointment as pope was believed by Archbishop Emeritus Oscar V. Cruz as a ‘blessing in disguise.’

He said that this will do more good for the Manila archbishop and for the Philippines, and that he has a lot to experience and learn more to become the head of the Catholic Church.

Malacanang also joined the world in congratulating the new pontiff and wished Pope Francis “strength and wisdom” as he starts to lead the Catholic Church.