A Pope Is Chosen
The world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics have a new spiritual leader.
As afternoon turned to evening in Vatican City on Wednesday, around 7:08 p.m. local time, white smoke rose from a chimney above the Sistine Chapel and bells rang through St. Peter's Square — the traditional signals that the church's cardinals have chosen a new pope.
Still to come: the identity of the cardinal chosen to take the now-retired Pope Benedict XVI's place.
Now, as NPR's Sylvia Poggioli has said, the new pope and the church face a choice: "Whether to continue an inward looking conservative path or to open up to the broader world of the faithful and introduce more collegiality, as had been indicated by the reforms of the Second Vatican Council 50 years ago."
We'll have much more about the new pope and what his selection means as the day continues. Be sure to hit your "refresh" button to see our latest updates.
The papal selection came after five votes by the 115 cardinals eligible to cast ballots. They voted once on Tuesday, twice Wednesday morning and then twice again on Wednesday afternoon. It takes a two-thirds majority (77 in this case) to become pope.
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