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Habemus Papam

newpopeCardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina has been elected Pope. The new Pontiff, who chose the name Pope Francis, is the first Latin American to become Roman Pontiff, and the first Jesuit. The Argentine cardinal was elected on Wednesday, 13th of March 2013 (European time).

Born in Buenos Aires on December 17, 1936, Jorge Mario Bergoglio entered the Society of Jesus in 1958 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1969. He became an auxiliary bishop in Buenos Aires in 1992, and coadjutor in 1998, eventually being installed as archbishop in 1999. He was raised to the College of Cardinals by Pope John Paul II in 2001.

While he has served his entire priestly ministry in Argentina, the new Pope is well acquainted with the Vatican. At the time of his election to the papacy he was a member of the Congregations for Divine Worship, the Clergy, and Religious; the Pontifical Council for the Family, and the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. 

In his first words to the public, speaking from the balcony of St. Peter’s basilica, Pope Francis—after finally quieting the enthusiastic crowd—remarked that the conclave had the duty of appointing a new Bishop of Rome. “It seems that my brother cardinals have gone almost to the ends of the earth to get him,” he joked, “but here we are.”

Later, after giving his Urbi et Orbi blessing, the Pope spoke simply to the crowd. “We will see one another soon,” he said. “Tomorrow I want to go to pray to the Madonna, that she may protect Rome. Good night and sleep well.”

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In order that you may be good, reliable announcers of Christ you ought very especially to prepare yourselves now by diligent study during the time of your training, so that you may acquire a thorough knowledge of Catholic teaching and may be able to proclaim it.