Vatican conclave 2013 elects new pope

[ UPDATED March 14, 2013] VATICAN CITY — From his willingness to cook his own meals and get around by bus, to his choice of St. Francis as inspiration for his name, the new pope has stressed humility and a simple life that could signal a change in tone at the center of the Roman Catholic Church.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, 76, is the first person from the Americas and the first Jesuit to be elected pope. The son of a railway worker, he rose to become regional superior of the Jesuit order in Argentina and then an archbishop, spending most of his career teaching priests and advocating for the poor through times of economic crisis in his home nation.

FULL STORY: Humility and simple life lead Jesuit to papacy

[ UPDATED March 13, 2013]  VATICAN CITY — Jorge Mario Bergoglio was named the 266th pope Wednesday, succeeding Benedict XVI as leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics and inheriting a global church that is growing in some parts of the world but faces serious challenges at home and abroad.

[ UPDATED March 13, 2013] VATICAN CITY — Roman Catholic cardinals signaled Wednesday they had failed to agree on a new pope during the early session of the second day of secret voting inside the Sistine Chapel.

Black smoke rose from a stovepipe above the chapel before noon as ballots from the morning’s vote were burned because no single candidate had won support from at least two-thirds of the 115 cardinals gathered to choose a successor to Benedict XVI.

Thousands of people gathered in St. Peter’s Square under a sea of umbrellas and gave a shout as the smoke poured skyward. In contrast to the previous night, the smoke was slightly more gray than black, leading to some initial confusion.

FULL STORY: Round 2 of Vatican vote: Black smoke signals no new pope

[ VATICAN CITY — March 12, 2013]  Steeped in tradition and pageantry, the ceremonies that will produce a new pope officially began Tuesday morning when 115 Roman Catholic cardinals celebrated Mass in the majestic St. Peter’s Basilica.

In resplendent red capes trimmed in gold, and with white miters soaring from their heads, the cardinals filed into the cathedral, two by two. The procession passed the tomb of St. Peter and the body of Pope Pius X, leading finally to the famous Bernini altar that dominates the church. There, each cardinal bowed to kiss the altar

The mass known as the Pro Eligendo Romano Pontifice is a final step before the cardinals gather later Tuesday behind closed doors in the Sistine Chapel to vote for a successor to Benedict XVI, who last month became the first pope to resign in six centuries. It is not known how many days the election might take. Ballots are burned after each vote, producing black smoke when no candidate has reached a two-thirds majority, and white smoke when the pope is chosen.

FULL STORY: Conclave ceremonies underway at the Vatican