Archive for Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Catholic Cardinals choose 266th pope

March 13, 2013


Pope Francis flanked by Monsignor Guido Marini, master of liturgical ceremonies, waves to the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who chose the name of Francis is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Pope Francis flanked by Monsignor Guido Marini, master of liturgical ceremonies, waves to the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who chose the name of Francis is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

— Argentine Jorge Bergoglio has been elected pope, the first ever from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium. He chose the name Pope Francis.

Cardinals 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 a few minutes past 7 p.m., many shouting “Habemus Papam!” or “We have a pope!” — as the bells of St. Peter’s Basilica and churches across Rome pealed.

The pope, whose identity isn’t yet known, is due to emerge from the loggia overlooking St. Peter’s Square to deliver his first words as the bishop of Rome. The lag time was giving Romans plenty of time to get to St. Peter’s, and a steady stream of pilgrims and tourists were making their way.

Chants of “Long live the pope!” arose from the throngs of faithful, many with tears in their eyes. Crowds went wild as the Vatican and Italian military bands marched through the square and up the steps of the basilica, followed by Swiss Guards in silver helmets and full regalia.

They played the introduction to the Vatican and Italian anthems and the crowd, which numbered at least 50,000, joined in, waving flags from countries around the world.

“I can’t explain how happy I am right down,” said Ben Canete, a 32-year-old Filipino, jumping up and down in excitement.

Elected on the fifth ballot, the pope was chosen in one of the fastest conclaves in years, remarkable given there was no clear front-runner going into the vote and that the church had been in turmoil following the upheaval unleashed by Pope Benedict XVI’s surprise resignation.

A winner must receive 77 votes, or two-thirds of the 115, to be named pope.

For comparison’s sake, Benedict was elected on the fourth ballot in 2005 — but he was the clear front-runner going into the vote. Pope John Paul II was elected on the eighth ballot in 1978 to become the first non-Italian pope in 455 years.

Patrizia Rizzo ran down the main boulevard to the piazza with her two children as soon as she heard the news on the car radio. “I parked the car ... and dashed to the square, she said. “It’s so exciting, as Romans we had to come.”

The conclave played out against the backdrop of the first papal resignation in 600 years and revelations of mismanagement, petty bickering, infighting and corruption in the Holy See bureaucracy. Those revelations, exposed by the leaks of papal documents last year, had divided the College of Cardinals into camps seeking a radical reform of the Holy See’s governance and those defending the status quo.

The names mentioned most often as “papabile” — a cardinal who has the stuff of a pope — included Cardinal Angelo Scola, the archbishop of Milan, an intellect in the vein of Benedict but with a more outgoing personality, and Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the Canadian head of the Vatican’s important bishops’ office who is also scholarly but reserved like Benedict.

Brazilian Cardinal Odilo Scherer is liked by the Vatican bureaucracy but not by all of his countrymen. And Cardinal Peter Erdo of Hungary has the backing of European cardinals who have twice elected him as head of the European bishops’ conference.

On the more pastoral side is Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, the favorite of the Italian press, and Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the back-slapping, outgoing archbishop of New York who has admitted himself that his Italian is pretty bad — a drawback for a job that is conducted almost exclusively in the language.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi said it was a “good hypothesis” that the pope would be installed next Tuesday, on the feast of St. Joseph, patron saint of the universal church. The installation Mass is attended by heads of state from around the world, requiring at least a few days’ notice.

Benedict would not attend, he said.

Thousands of people braved a chilly rain on Wednesday morning to watch the 6-foot- (2-meter-) high copper chimney on the chapel roof for the smoke signals telling them whether the cardinals had settled on a choice. Nuns recited the rosary, while children splashed in puddles.

Unlike the confusion that reigned during the 2005 conclave, the smoke this time around was clear: black during the first two sets of smoke signals, and then clearly white on Wednesday night — thanks to special smoke flares akin to those used in soccer matches or protests that were lit in the chapel ovens to accompany the smoke from the burned ballot papers.

The Vatican on Wednesday divulged the secret recipe used: potassium perchlorate, anthracene, which is a derivative of coal tar, and sulfur for the black smoke; potassium chlorate, lactose and a pine resin for the white smoke.

The chemicals were contained in five units of a cartridge that is placed inside the stove of the Sistine Chapel. When activated, the five blocks ignite one after another for about a minute apiece, creating the steady stream of smoke that accompanies the natural smoke from the burned ballot papers.

Despite the great plumes of smoke that poured out of the chimney, neither the Sistine frescoes nor the cardinals inside the chapel suffered any smoke damage, Lombardi said.


Maddy Griffin 4 years, 9 months ago

When has the Catholic Church EVER been near bankruptcy?

Haiku_Cuckoo 4 years, 9 months ago

Are you joking? Do a Google search for "Catholic Church closings". It's happening throughout the country.

Ken Miller 4 years, 9 months ago

I'm just happy this Papal Sausage Fest is over. They are men. Just like us. No closer to G-O-D than my homeless friend under the bridge. I take that back... my friend IS closer to God.

Steve Jacob 4 years, 9 months ago

33-1 odds, some people will be parting tonight! Honestly, with so many cardinals from the US and Europe having to go in front of Grand Jury's, including NY Cardinal Timothy Dolan last month, they had to go with someone from Latin America or Africa.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 9 months ago

He supported the Generals in the Dirty War in Argentina-- this Pope has a lot of blood on his hands (sadly, not an unusual trait for Popes.)

webmocker 4 years, 9 months ago

"Any of you guys call me Francis, and I'll kill you."

denak 4 years, 9 months ago

There is no legitimate evidence of that. It is only speculation and rumor. If you have a legitimate source, post it.

denak 4 years, 9 months ago

Putting aside Pope Francis' actions or inactions for a moment, what do you think you would have done Bozo? I know you think you would have been out there "fighting the good fight" but in reality, that isn't how it is in a totalitarian government. My undergraduate degree is in Latin American history. I probably know more about the Dirty War than the average person does and if you think you can sit there in your nice safe armchair and claim that you would have been some sort of hero, you are misguided and arrogant. Oscar Shindler had to "go along to get along" or he would have never been able to save 1, 200 Jewish people. The most successful people in a resistance are not the ones out there making noise. They end up dead. The ones that save people's lifes are the ones that work behind the scenes. The ones that stay out of the limelight. And whether or not you like it, there is evidence that Pope Francis I did do that.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 9 months ago

The evidence is very strong that the hierarchy of the Argentine Catholic Church was very much in support of the junta that ran Argentina, and Pope Francis chose not to do much at all to challenge that hierarchy. He went along to get along, and he advanced because of that.

There were thousands of people who challenged the junta, and many thousands of them paid the ultimate price for doing so. If they hadn't, Argentina might still be under fascist control. The hypothetical of what I would do in such a situation is completely irrelevant to what the Pope did or did not choose to do. What we know is that he chose not to take anything approaching the risks that Oscar Schindler did. And now he's Pope.

fiddleback 4 years, 9 months ago

Once the novelty of a South American pontiff starts wearing off, who will break it to the faithful flock that it's just another dogmatic old white dude (or that this desiccated carcass still calling itself a "church" should have been abandoned centuries ago)?

webmocker 4 years, 9 months ago

In a shocking development, Pope Francis has claimed the Falkland Islands for the Vatican.

George Lippencott 4 years, 9 months ago

Does all of the above reflect anti- Catholicism or educated opinion on the election of the person to lead a church with a lot of membership clearly not any of the above.

Katara 4 years, 9 months ago

How do you know they are all atheists?

They just might all be Southern Baptists. Or Mormons. Or Jehovah Witnesses. Or Pentecostals. None of those groups believe that Catholics are Christians.

Katara 4 years, 9 months ago

Why should they?

You exhibit the same behavior in some of your posts here so you are hardly one to gripe about this. Especially after you make a really strange assumption that people who have issues with the Catholic Church are all atheists.

Bob Forer 4 years, 9 months ago

Cheezborger, .Cheezborger, Cheezborger. No Coke! Pepsi? .... cheep cheep cheep.

George Lippencott 4 years, 9 months ago

My are we ducking the issue. It does not matter what these people are only what they write. I am sure you are right in that all kinds of people think as the above think (hateful vitriol)

denak 4 years, 9 months ago

Not true. Southern Baptists do believe that Catholics are Christian. The two religions have sometimes had a contentious past but are working much more closely in recent years on social issues both religions agree on.

Katara 4 years, 9 months ago

You must know different Southern Baptists than I do. :(

Katara 4 years, 9 months ago

I've never claimed to be that. It is interesting that you chose to frame my comments as such. It does fit in with your bizarre beliefs about who makes comments regarding religion.

And it is interesting that you cannot dispute the fact that some sects of Christianity do not see Catholics as Christians and are just as likely to make the comments you dislike as much as these fictitious atheists and humanists that you believe infect this forum.

You can assume whatever you like but you should be aware that it just makes you look ignorant and uniformed. If that is the impression you are going for, more power to you.

Liberty275 4 years, 9 months ago

I am the top atheist 'round here, and I have nothing but good wishes for the new pope and all Catholics.

There are atheists and there are humanist posers that hate religion. I'll thank you to not mix us up in the future.

notaubermime 4 years, 9 months ago

I am neither spiritual nor religious, and never have been. That said, I do not identify myself with atheism either, because most of the atheists I have known seem to like to divide people every which way by any definition they can imagine. Even more annoying is that all too many of them will find any excuse to remind you that they don't believe in a god (especially the Christian God).

While I would praise you for your well-wishing of Catholics on an important day for them, I cannot help but roll my eyes when you write that "There are atheists and there are humanist posers that hate religion."

Liberty275 4 years, 9 months ago

Don't keep them rolled back too long, they might get stuck that way.

KansasPerson 4 years, 9 months ago

This is a humble man who, as archbishop of Buenos Aires, refused to live in the fancy domicile but resided in a simple apartment, took the bus to work, and did hands-on charitable work for AIDS patients, etc.

riverdrifter 4 years, 9 months ago

True, that. I'm no Catholic and don't have a dog in this hunt. Like many, I was hoping the conclave would elect a younger and more dynamic pope to lead their church kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Wishful thinking. Instead they elect another old retread. Nothing to see here, move along.

denak 4 years, 9 months ago

And how do you know that. Before this afternoon, you probably have never even heard of this man, much like 99.9% of the people on this board and yet, all of a sudden, some of you think you are an expert on the man.

Katara 4 years, 9 months ago

And how do you know that 99.9% haven't a clue about the new pope? Are you getting that from the same place cheeseburger got his assumption that people who are not joyous over this new pope are all atheists?

fiddleback 4 years, 9 months ago

Good for him-- anti-materialism and passion for social justice sound like his best qualities. So let's see him use the massive Vatican coffers to their fullest potential to help people. If he's going to be a transformative pope despite clinging to most of the church's antiquated dogma, he going to have to be strong enough to battle the church's materialist hypocrisy and spoils system.

George Lippencott 4 years, 9 months ago

dogma?? So you do not agree with the church's teachings and condemn it for not meeting your expectations as to charity.

Is this hypocrisy or are you really that dedicated to the poor?

fiddleback 4 years, 9 months ago

Please spare me the feigned indignation. Yes, dogma-- anti-gay couple rights, anti-contraception, anti-female clergy. I do my part helping at the soup kitchen and giving to various causes. No red Prada shoes for me.

Bob Forer 4 years, 9 months ago

"passion for social justice????" Tell that to the gays.

fiddleback 4 years, 9 months ago

Yeah, I know. I was referring to the more common emphasis on economic disparity and aiding poverty; "social justice" connotes this area a little more often than civil rights.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 9 months ago

I'm sure glad that you come here everyday solely to express the breadth of your tolerance. (sarcasm.)

fiddleback 4 years, 9 months ago

Newsflash: intolerance and mockery are two different things and usually only confused by the insecure or thin-skinned....

Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 9 months ago

The Catholic Church is extremely old and so has established quite a few traditions over time. The vestments that are worn by church leaders from the Pope down to the parish priest are appropriate to the occasion and not just for show. Rituals and ceremonies give direction and purpose to the people of the faith and are outward signs of an inward faith.

They are not an end in themselves, but a way to learn to separate the mind from the things of this world to eternity. Some of us need things of that nature, including the statues of Jesus and Mary and such, and the rosary to focus on, while we are getting to a higher plane of faith. They are here to remind us of who we are as a faith people.

Kathy Theis-Getto 4 years, 9 months ago

..and they still believe ordaining women is a sin akin to pedophilia. What irony.

denak 4 years, 9 months ago

No, they don't. What a bunch of b.s. Just because you spew it out doesn't make it true.

melott 4 years, 9 months ago

I wish that the bluejays had made the choice, rather than the cardinals.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 4 years, 9 months ago

I am not catholic and really not very religious at all. But I would like to see the Catholics (and Baptists) lighten up on women. Both do not recognize women as suiable clergy, or any thng else for that matter.

Jesus gave us an attitude and mind-set on how we should live but religion today is mostly a lot of mindless blather. I think Jesus would not recognize a lot of the folks that claim to be his followers, and that includes Popes, too. I think Jesus would be agahast at the number of various and sundry organizations that claim some sort of supremacy by using His nave, "Christian Schooling'," Christian Councelling" and my all time favorite fraud, "Christian Mingle". I think he would clean house again, as He did with the money changers in the Temple.

George Lippencott 4 years, 9 months ago

Homework exercise: Research how women were treated when many of these religions originated?? They are not backsliding. I can remember when women were not allowed behind the communion rail - now they do much of the laywomen work of the church. Should it all go faster = probably. But then there would be many who would complain it was going too fast. I believe a number of Christian sects allow women to be ordained. Join one of them.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 4 years, 9 months ago

And I find it absolutely hilarious that "Jerry Flawell U" ("Liberty" University (a.k.a."Liberty " if you buy Falwell's docrrinaire agenda) has an ad at the top of this comment section.

Katara 4 years, 9 months ago

Why do you list Catholics and Christians separately?

Are you one of those folks that doesn't think Catholics are Christians?

Katara 4 years, 9 months ago

But all Catholics are Christians so why are you separating the Catholics out?

Liberty275 4 years, 9 months ago

Catholicism and Protestantism are different in many ways. I'm not sure either could accept the other side as christianity as they disagree about its core defining characteristics.

kansanbygrace 4 years, 9 months ago

Completely wrong, Lib. The core defining characteristics are identical.

The same "saving" faith in Jesus Christ is taught from the protestant pulpit, simply and unequivocally presented in the Bible, and repeated in the liturgy at every Eucharist in the liturgical Churches, like the United Catholic, the Coptic Christian, the several Orthodox Catholic Churches, and the Roman Catholic sect.

All Christian.

The differences are all in the addenda or recommended methods of practice. That is not the faith but the politics.

Liberty275 4 years, 9 months ago

"The core defining characteristics are identical."

Nah. Protestants go to Hell and stay there, catholics go to some level of purgatory for a while. Catholics confess their sins to a man, protestants confess to god himself.

Lots of core differences.

fiddleback 4 years, 9 months ago


First newsflash for you to muse about: hate and mockery are two very different things and usually only publicly confused by those mostly sheltered from critical dialogue or just incurably thin-skinned...

Second newsflash: it's futile to compare the Christian and non-Christian in terms of criminal propensity and altruism. Such enormous groups contain the full spectrum of these qualities, so there is no intelligent argument for which group is better or worse. The mockery in this thread is primarily aimed at the Catholic Church's senior hierarchy, and judging by the mountain of scandals and the damning dossier than landed in Benedict's lap on the day he decided to retire, they've earned that derision. I wish Pope Francis the best, but obviously he inherits a very sick organization; his prayers needn't concern non-believers so much as asking for the personal strength to make true progress.

Liberty275 4 years, 9 months ago

I hope all the Catholics out there are happy with the choice and hopefully he will be a fine pope for all of those that need his guidance.

Liberty275 4 years, 9 months ago

You can rant and rave against the things some people do, but that doesn't mean at the end of the day you will not help them. I hope you figure that out some day.

denak 4 years, 9 months ago

mmmmmmmm when was the last time you went and washed the feet and took care of someone dying from AIDS. If the answer is "never" then I guess that makes the Pope a better man than you because he has. I guess some people do and some people just complain.

Liberty275 4 years, 9 months ago

They are promoting their religion. That's sort of what religions do. Every perm is sacred, so they believe. Who are you to tell them what they can and cannot preach? What other religions would you repress?

At the same time they are fighting hunger and HIV in places that you don't care exist.

Armstrong 4 years, 9 months ago

How profound and yet lame at the same time

Kathy Theis-Getto 4 years, 9 months ago

I wonder what Constantine and his mother would think of your arguments about the fairy tales they helped create?

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