The white smoke rose from Sistine Chapel about 45 minutes ago indicating: A New Pope Has Been Chosen:
It usually takes about 45 minutes of preparation for the new Pope to be ready to greet the crowd, so literally he will be appearing any moment now.
Vatican watchers say that the decision was made relatively quickly, indicating a strong consensus.
After an inconclusive first vote on Tuesday night, the 115 cardinal electors prayed for inspiration from God for a choice that can lead the Roman Catholic Church out of crisis.
Having spent the night closeted in a nearby guesthouse, the cardinals attended Mass in the Pauline Chapel in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace and returned to the Renaissance splendor of the Sistine Chapel to hold the two morning ballots.
When the new Pope appears, he will greet the waiting throng outside the Basilica in several languages.
He has yet to appear to the crowd, but his identity has been announced:
Argentinian Cardinal Bergoglio was elected as the new pope elected a new pope to lead the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics on Wednesday, overcoming deep divisions to select the 266th pontiff in a remarkably fast conclave.
Tens of thousands of people who braved cold rain to watch the smokestack atop the Sistine Chapel jumped in joy when white smoke poured out, many shouting “Habemus Papam!” or “We have a pope!” — as the bells of St. Peter’s Basilica and churches across Rome pealed.
The 76 year old Bergoglio is said to be a very humble, spiritual and intelligent man. A true servant of the servants of God.
According to CNN, Pope Francis is considered “a straight-shooter who calls things as he sees them, and a follower of the church’s most conservative wing”
He has clashed with the government of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner over his opposition to gay marriage and free distribution of contraceptives.