Argentine Bergoglio elected Pope Francis
VATICAN CITY - Catholic cardinals today chose Argentine Jesuit Jorge Mario Bergoglio as leader of the Church, taking the name Pope Francis. He is the first South American to ever hold the position and the first non-European to be elected pope in over 1,000 years.
Bergoglio, 76, was runner up in the last conclave in 2005 but agreed to give up his shot at St. Peter's throne then to allow Joseph Ratzinger to become Benedict XVI. The choice of the name Francis is seen as symbolic of a cardinal who wants to bring simplicity to the papacy, recalling St Francis of Assisi.
Bergoglio also has spent little time in Rome and thus is viewed as well positioned to reform the Curia, the central government of the Church. The announcement of Bergoglio's election drew sustained applause from the crowd of some 100,000 people in St Peter's Square as Bergoglio appeared on the Balcony above St Peter's Basilica, the largest Church in the world.