Argentina’s Jorge Mario Bergoglio elected as New Pope. Pope Francis, 76, replaces Benedict XVI, who resigned last month at the age of 85. Jorge Bergogolio, the archbishop of Buenos Aires, was elected pope on Wednesday, the first pontiff from Latin America to lead the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics. Bergogolio, who will be known as Pope Francis Ist, was elected by cardinals in what was apparently their fifth round of voting on the second day of their conclave.
Dressed in white papal vestments, Bergogolio first appeared to the world from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica. “As you know, the duty of the conclave was to appoint a bishop of Rome,” he told a cheering crowd of thousands packed into St. Peter’s Square. Pope Francis asks the large crowd in St. Peter’s Square to bless him as he starts his new “journey.” The former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina said: “Before I give you a blessing, I ask you for a favor — I want you to bless me.”