Cardinal Bergoglio has chosen the name Pope Francis
The Catholic church has chosen a new pope.Photo: Video by ktnv.com
VATICAN CITY (AP/KTNV) -- The Catholic church has chosen a new pope.
White smoke was billowing from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, meaning 115 cardinals in a papal conclave had elected a new leader for the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.
The new pope appeared on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, after a church official announced "Habemus Papum" -- "We have a pope" -- and gave the name of the new pontiff in Latin.
Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina, now known as Pope Francis, has been elected as the next leader of the Catholic church.
Pope Francis is the first South American pope.
115 cardinals made the decision after the 5th round of voting on the second day of the conclave.
The Diocese of Las Vegas Bishop Joseph Pepe spoke on the selection, "It gives you a whole sense of a very personable individual, who really understands that important relationship that we have to have with each one of our flock, our people that really need to meet Christ. And I think that pope will be able to do that."
The conclave was called after Pope Benedict XVI resigned last month, throwing the church into turmoil and exposing deep divisions among cardinals tasked with finding a manager to clean up a corrupt Vatican bureaucracy as well as a pastor who can revive Catholicism in a time of growing secularism.