New Pope Is First Jesuit Pontiff

Plumes of white smoke billowed from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel earlier today, indicating that the 115 cardinals participating in the papal conclave had selected a new pope.

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina is the first pontiff from the Americas. He also is the first Jesuit to fill the role. Fox News reports:

Francis, the archbishop of Buenos Aires, reportedly got the second-most votes from the 115 cardinals after Joseph Ratzinger in the 2005 papal election, and he has long specialized in the kind of pastoral work that some say is an essential skill for the next pope. Source

The same Fox News report indicates that Francis “considers social outreach, rather than doctrinal battles, to be the essential business of the church.”

This papal conclave reportedly was one of the “fastest in years,” with Bergoglio being elected on the fifth ballot. According to Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi, Francis likely will be installed next Tuesday, 19 March.