By BosNewsLife News Center

habemus_papam (1)VATICAN CITY (BosNewsLife)– A new pope was elected Wednesday, March 13, with white smoke rising from Sistine Chapel. White smoke – produced by mixing the smoke from burning ballots with special flares – indicated that a new head of the Roman Catholic Church has been chosen at a time of turmoil in the church. Cardinals had gathered since Tuesday, March 12, for the conclave after Benedict XVI became the first pontiff to retire in some 600 years.

At least two thirds, or 77 of the 115 cardinals gathered in the conclave, were united in their support for the candidate who has now become the 265th pope, the Vatican said.

The cheering crowds were seen waiting eagerly in St Peter’s Square, while the new pontiff was changing into the traditional white vestments in what is called the Room of Tears.

Following that ritual, the new pope was to move to the Pauline Chapel to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Shortly after that, the senior cardinal deacon, French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran was to appear between the red curtains of the central balcony on St Peter’s Basilica to proclaim the famous Latin words ‘Habemus Papam’, revealing the identity of the new pontiff and the name that he has chosen, the Vatican said.

A moment later, the Pope will come out onto that balcony to greet the crowds and to give his first ‘Urbi et Orbi’ blessing to the city of Rome and to the world, where the church claims to have 1.2 billion followers.

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