Jorge Bergoglio: He is the 266th Pope (head of the Roman Catholic Church)
The cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church chose Argentine Jorge Bergoglio on 13 March 2013 as the new Pope. The new pope chose Francis as his Papal Name. He is the first non-European pope in almost 1300 years and first pontiff from the Americas. A Pope sits in the Vatican City.
Before Jorge Bergoglio, no other Pope took the Papal Name Francis after Saint Francis of Assisi. Saint Francis of Assisi was the reformer of 13th Century, who lived in extreme poverty and preached his followers to preach the Gospel always, if necessary use words.
After being elected as the Pope, Pope Francis waved his hands to the huge crowd gathered at St. Peter’s Square. The cardinals elected Jorge Bergoglio as the new pope after completion of the fifth ballot, but in all these ballots there existed no clear front-runner into the vote. For being elected to the position of the Pope, a winner must secure 77 votes or two-thirds of the 115 votes.
Before this in the year 2005, Pope Benedict XVI was the front-runner in the fourth ballot. In 1978 Pope John Paul II was elected after eighth ballot and was the first non-Italian Pope in 455 years.
Pope Benedict XVI, who was appointed pope in the year 2005 resigned from his position in February 2013 claiming that he was infirm to carry. He was the first pope in past 600 years to resign after Pope Gregory XII, who resigned from the position in 1415 to put an end to the Great Western Split among competing papal claimants.
Importance of the Chimney Smoke in completion of the election process
The colour of the smoke from chimney plays a vital role in indicating the completion of election process of a Pope. When the process of election of a Pope is completed and he accepts his position, the ballots are burnt immediately.
Traditionally, these ballots are burnt dry or with the help of chemical additives. When a pope is elected, white smoke appears from the chimney. On the other hand, appearance of the black smoke indicates that voting has remained inconclusive.
After the election of the Pope, white smoke appeared from Sistine Chapel chimney on 13 March 2013, which indicated that a Pope was elected and he also accepted his position.
What is Papal Name?
Papal Name is the name used by the Popes at the time, when they are in the office. This activity of choosing a name first started in sixth century and became a custom in the 10th Century. Since 16th Century every pope had been choosing the papal name.
Election Process of the Pope
The process of electing a new pope is called conclave and a college of cardinals is responsible for his election. Conclave is the process of seizing the members of the college in the Vatican City, authorized to vote, leaving them in no-contact with the outside world. During the voting process the Cardinals are locked inside the Sistine Chapel in the Apostolic Palace. The Conclave is initiated after 15 days and before 20 days of Pope’s death or resignation. During this complete process the cardinals are made to stay in the hospital inside the Vatican called as St. Martha’s House that has 130 rooms. All the arrangements are made to make sure that no one from the outside world is able to get in touch with any of the cardinals or vice-versa, when they are transported from the St. Martha's and the Sistine Chapel.
Rules laid down for election of a new Pope
• The number of electors from the College of Cardinals is 120 may be whatever is the number of Cardinals in the college.
• A Cardnal, who had attended the age of 80 years before the Papacy day is not allowed to participate in the Conclave.
• Any contestant, who is able to win more than two-third of the votes is elected as the Pope
• The ballot is conducted twice in morning and afternoon continuously for four days, before declaring the result
• In case, the cardinals fail to elect a Pope with 12 or 13 days, they can impose a majority vote and select the new Pope with simple majority
Who: Jorge Bergoglio
Where: St. Peter's Square
When: 13 March 2013