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Pope Francis starts tenure

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Pope Francis starts tenure

By WTMJ News Team & the Associated Press. CREATED Mar 13, 2013 - UPDATED: Mar 14, 2013

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis, the first ever from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium, starts his first full day on the job Thursday.

His schedule initially included visiting his predecessor, Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI, however, the Vatican says he will move that visit back to Friday.

The man formerly known as Jorge Bergoglio is 76 years old, and is from Buenos Aires.

Click here for reaction from Milwaukee-area Catholic officials on the selection of Pope Francis.

According to the Catholic News Service, during the 2005 conclave, Bergoglio had the second-highest number of votes on each of the four ballots.

White smoke appeared from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel just after 1:15 p.m. Milwaukee time on Wednesday, meaning 115 cardinals in a papal conclave have elected a new leader for the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.

Bergoglio is known for modernizing an Argentine church that had been among the most conservative in Latin America.

Pope Francis' installation has officially been scheduled for March 19, 2013 at 3:30 a.m. central time.

A church official announced "Habemus Papum" -- "We have a pope" -- and gave the name of the new pontiff in Latin.

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.

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.

Click here for what an NBC News report calls Pope Francis' "to-do list."