White smoke billows from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel after cardinals chose a new leader of the Catholic church.
The new leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics is expected to appear on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica within an hour, after stopping to pray in the Pauline Chapel for a few minutes
His appearance will come after French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran the protodeacon, announces “Habemus Papum” – “We have a pope” – and gives the name of the new pontiff in Latin.
The decision has been reached after 115 cardinals held five rounds of voting over two days. The conclave was called following Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation last month.
Updated at 19:05
His departure threw the church into turmoil and exposed deep divisions among cardinals tasked with finding a manager to clean up a Vatican bureaucracy embroiled in recent scandals.
The pope’s Twitter account, whose profile was changed to read ‘Sede Vacante’ when Benedict stepped down, has now been switched back to ‘Pontifex’.
Updated at 19:10
Pope’s imminent to address the pilgrims at the Vatican City
Updated at 19:120
We now know the Popes full name is Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Begoglio has been elected as the new pope.
Updated at 20:00
First picture of the the new Pope on Access To London
Updated at 20:15
The 76-year-old, who will be known as Pope Francis I, appeared on the balcony of St Peter’s Basilica to cheers from tens of thousands of the faithful gathered below.
Addressing the crowds, the first non-European pontiff for more than a millenium said: “As you know, the duty of the conclave was to appoint a bishop of Rome. It seems to me that my brother cardinals have chosen one who is from far away, but here I am.
Updated at 20:38
Updated on 14 March 2013 10:21
Here is a little extract of the New Pope Jorge Mario Begoglio profile from Wikipedia.
Francis born Jorge Mario Bergoglio on 17 December 1936 is the 266th and current Pope of the Catholic Church, elected on 13 March 2013. As such, he is both head of the Church and Sovereign of theVatican City State.
A native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, he was ordained as a priest in 1969. He served as head of the Society of Jesus in Argentina from 1973 to 1979. In 1998 he became the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, and in 2001 a cardinal. Following theresignation of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, on 28 February 2013, the conclave elected Bergoglio, who chose the papal name Francis in honour of Saint Francis of Assisi. He is the first pope to be a Jesuit, to come from the Americas, and to come from the Southern Hemisphere.Tags: cardinals, Jorge Mario Begoglio, new pope, vatican