Papal Transition

New pope ‘figure of unity’ for all Catholics, says US Bishops’ president

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, congratulated the newly elected pope, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina, who took the name Francis. Pope Francis “stands as the figure of unity for all Catholics wherever they reside. The bishops of the United […]

Text of Pope Francis’ remarks from balcony after his election

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Here is the English translation of Pope Francis' remarks delivered from the balcony after his election as pope. Brothers and sisters, good evening. You know that the task of the conclave was to give Rome a bishop. It seems my brother cardinals went almost to the ends of the earth to find one.

Argentine Cardinal Bergoglio elected pope, takes name Francis

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, the leader of a large urban archdiocese in Latin America, was elected the 266th pope and took the name Francis. He is the first pope in history to come from the Western Hemisphere and the first non-European to be elected in almost 1,300 years. The Jesuit was also the first member of his order to be elected pope, and the first member of any religious order to be elected in nearly two centuries. The election March 13 came on the second day of the conclave, on the conclave’s fifth ballot. It was a surprisingly quick conclusion to a conclave that began with many plausible candidates and no clear favorite.

It’s fitting time: Papal tailors ready no matter the size of new pope

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Even though a conclave to elect a new pope has not yet started, the papal tailors have the white cassock ready for the new pontiff when he appears less than an hour after his election on the balcony overlooking St. Peter’s Square. The Gammarelli shop proudly showcased in its street-level window […]

White smoke: Cardinals elect new pope on fifth ballot

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- To the delighted surprise of many, clouds of white smoke poured from the chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel March 13, indicating a pope had been elected on the conclave's fifth ballot. The smoke signal went off at 7:05 p.m. The 115 cardinals gathered to elect the 266th successor of Peter had taken one vote late March 12 and two votes the next morning, resulting in clouds of black smoke. Stay with as this story develops.

As seen in St. Peter’s Square

March 13, 2013, 1:45 p.m. EDT This semester I have had the great privilege of studying abroad in Rome with Saint Mary’s College in South Bend, Ind. Arriving in this city in January, I never imagined I would be so blessed to be here during this exciting and historical time in our church’s history. In […]

Rain, cold, can’t keep faithful, curious away from conclave smoke-watch

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A second day of rain and cold couldn't keep thousands of people from pouring into St. Peter's Square to keep their eyes on a tiny chimney high atop a tiled roof.

Burning ballots, and the ultimate “permanent record”

A message from the Vatican spells out what happens to the recorded tally of each vote in the papal conclave, even though the ballots themselves -- and other items -- are burned.

How a pope is chosen

Vatican Information Service released the following statement March 13: What do the voting ballots for electing a Pope look like? How are the votes counted? Can Cardinal electors who are sick still cast a vote? The Apostolic Constitution “Universi Dominici Gregis” (UDG) responds to these and many other questions. It was promulgated by Blessed John […]

New pope likely to celebrate installation Mass March 19, spokesman says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Mass for the installation of a new pope could be celebrated March 19, the solemnity of St. Joseph, patron of the universal church. The new pope also would likely recite the Angelus March 17 with visitors gathered in St. Peter's Square.