Habemus Papam

Follow the election of new pope

Hugh Linehan Wed, Mar 13
LIVE: Habemus Papam

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  • This event has now ended
  • 19:06
    Hello, I’m Hugh Linehan.Welcome to the Irish Times liveblog of the announcement of a new pope, the successor to Benedict XVI, who resigned last month. As you probably know by now, white smoke rose from the chimney above the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican shortly after 7pm Roman time, indicating a new pope hds been elected. The bells of St. Peter's Basilica rang out on Wednesday, signalling the conclave of cardinals had reached a decision.

    Half an hour or so later, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran is due to appear on the balcony to announce’Habemus Papem’ and the name of the new pope in Latin.
  • 19:12
    You can tweet me at @hlinehan
  • 19:12
    Excitement mounts as the announcement begins : 'Habemus Papem'
  • 19:13
    And the new pope is...
  • 19:13
    An excellent understanding of dramatic tension here..
  • 19:15
    Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires
  • 19:16
    Already being portrayed as a shock decision, he's 76 years of age.
  • 19:16
    He is the first ever Jesuit pope and is of Italian descent
  • 19:22
    Francis I, as he will be known, emerges onto the balcony
  • 19:24
    He is the first ever Latin American pope. Given that the continent comprises a very large segment of the world's Catholics, it's probably not before time.
  • 19:24
    The new pope addresses the throngs in St Peter's Square.
  • 19:25
    'The cardinals have decided to go practically to the end of the world'
  • 19:26
    Francis I's first act is to offer a prayer for the pope emeritus, his predecessor Benedict XVI
  • 19:30
    A very gentle and humble opening address from Francis (it's been pointed out that the 'I' is superfluous until there's a Francis II)
  • 19:31
    Cardinal Bergoglio had reportedly finished second in the 2005 conclave that produced Benedict XVI
  • 19:37
    The new pope has only one lung...
  • 19:38
    ..and reportedly lived a deliberately frugal life as cardinal, forswearing the limo for public transport.
  • 19:46
    Benedict abdicated on 28 February, saying that he was no longer able to cope with the burden of his office. He was the first pontiff to resign voluntarily since Celestine V in 1294.
  • 19:50
    Some good predicting here from John Thavis's blog http://www.johnthavis.com/an-argentine-cardinal-whos-quietly-drawing-attention via RTE's @tconnellyrte
  • 19:52
    According to Mashable, Pope Francis has 40,000 Facebook subscribers. And he has, of course, reactivated the @pontifex account on Twitter
  • 19:53
    A reader has phoned in to point out that it's 'habemus papam', not 'papem', as we had it. Apologies. Standards slipping again.
  • 19:57
    Via @stuartdhughes, here's the @wikileaks cable on Pope Francis (and others) http://www.cablegatesearch.net/search.php?q=bergoglio&qo=101&qc=0&qto=2010-02-28
  • 20:00
    That @wikileaks cable from the US embassy in the Vatican assessed the candidates for the papacy at the previous election. An extract from what it had to say about the man now known as Pope Francis:
    'What could count against him is his
    membership in the Jesuit order. Some senior prelates,
    especially conservatives, are suspicious of a liberal streak in
    the order, perhaps most pronounced in the U.S., but also present
    elsewhere. Bergoglio is said to prefer life in the local Church
    as opposed to a bureaucratic existence in Rome's ecclesiastical
    structures, but at the same time he has been willing to serve on
    the Vatican's various supervisory committees. This could
    indicate an ability to bridge the curia/local church divide that
    splits the College of Cardinal Electors, making him a good
    compromise candidate.'
  • 20:06
    According to a profile in the National Catholic Reporter earlier this month, at the 2005 papal election Cardinal Bergoglio 'drew high marks as an accomplished intellectual, having studied theology in Germany. His leading role during the Argentine economic crisis burnished his reputation as a voice of conscience, and made him a potent symbol of the costs globalization can impose on the world's poor'.
  • 20:07
    Isabel oliveira Your "papem" should be "papam". tut tut
  • 20:09
    Tut indeed, Isabel. We've fixed it now, but it's a sad indication of the disastrous effect of taking 'a good classical education' off the requirements list for a job here in Tara St
  • 20:12
    More from that profile in the National Catholic Register: 'Over the years, Bergoglio became close to the Comunione e Liberazione movement founded by Italian Fr. Luigi Giussani, sometimes speaking at its massive annual gathering in Rimini, Italy. He's also presented Giussani's books at literary fairs in Argentina.'
  • 20:17
    Paul Where is the live score ?
  • 20:17
    it's over Paul. You missed it - Argentina won.
  • 20:21
  • 20:26
    It's a busy time in the Irish Times newsroom - from the newspaper's perspective, this is good timing for a big news event, allowing our correspondents and experts to do their analysis for a story that's still fresh in the morning.
  • 20:26
    mary russell He drinks matte. First pope to do so. I have this on good authority.
  • 20:27
    Thanks Mary. I've seen people drinking matte out of those funny cup things with the spouts. Would you recommend it? Is it likely to catch on now?
  • 20:30
    Interesting stuff from the new pope's biographer, Sergio Rubin:
    'Is Bergoglio a progressive — a liberation theologist even? No. He’s no third-world priest. Does he criticise the International Monetary Fund, and neoliberalism? Yes. Does he spend a great deal of time in the slums? Yes,” Rubin said
  • 20:35

    President Michael D. Higgins has conveyed his sincere best wishes to Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio on his election as Pope Francis.

    In his message, President Higgins said:


    'As you assume the office of Holy Father, I convey to you the best wishes of the people of Ireland for the success of your pontificate.

    Despite the pressures and distractions of a more complex world, people all over the globe still yearn for a sense of spiritual meaning to their lives. Your leadership of the Church will therefore be of immense importance in providing ethical guidance and moral encouragement towards a world that is more just, more compassionate and more focused on a shared sense of community.

    While your election to this challenging ministry of service brings great personal responsibilities, I sincerely hope it will also offer opportunities for peace and joy as you carry out your duties in solidarity with the wider Church community. Your election will no doubt bring great joy to the people of Argentina and of South America, as well to the Jesuit community worldwide.

    I look forward to meeting you in person at an appropriate opportunity in the future.'

  • 20:39
    Statement by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny: 
    'On behalf of the Government and the people of Ireland, I offer warm congratulations to Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio on his election as Pope Francis.
    He has the best wishes of all Irish people, of all traditions, as he undertakes the immense responsibility of his pontificate.
    We pray that he will have the strength, the good health and the spiritual guidance needed to lead the Catholic Church in the many challenges it faces.
    The scenes of celebration in St Peters Square are a reflection of the great hopes and best wishes of people of the Catholic faith all around the world have for the new Pope.
    The decision of the Conclave in choosing the first Pope from the Americas is of particular significance as a symbolic expression of the global nature of the Catholic Church and of the 21st century world.
    The people of Ireland also send our congratulations to the people of Argentina, a country with which Ireland shares many historic bonds, on this occasion of great honour and pride for their nation.'
  • 20:49
    This from Reuters:

    President Barack Obama offered warm wishes to new Pope Francis I on Wednesday and said the choice of Cardinal Jorge 
    Bergoglio of Argentina to ascend to the papacy speaks to the vitality of increasingly important Latin America. Obama called the new pope "a champion of the poor and the most vulnerable among us." "As the first pope from the Americas, his selection also speaks to the strength and vitality of a region that is increasingly shaping our world, and alongside millions of Hispanic Americans, those of us in the United States share the joy of this historic day," Obama said in a statement.
  • 20:53
  • 20:57
    Is it black smoke? is it white smoke? The best anchorman moments here.
  • 21:02
    Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said the new Pope is a man who lives simply, cares for the sick and poor, and kept his distance from the military and Government. “He’s a real pastor,” he said. “The name Francis is a clear indication that he has a very particular view of what the church and simplicity and poverty is about.” The archbishop said Cardinal 
    Bergoglio spoke to him once at a synod about the difficulties and challenges the church in Ireland faced in the wake of the clerical child abuse scandals. “He said very explicitly ‘your challenges in Dublin, my challenges in a large city like Buenos Aires are very similar’ so his interest is being a pastor,” Archbishop Martin told RTE. “He was extraordinarily supportive.”
  • 21:10
  • 21:23
    British prime minister David Cameron and French president Francois Hollande have issued statements of congratulations.
    Today was “a momentous day for the 1.2 billion Catholics around the world,” Mr Cameron said.
    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he looked forward to co-operation with the Holy See under Pope Francis’ “wise leadership,” while European Union leaders Herman Van Rompuy and Jose Manuel Barroso wished the new Catholic leader “a long and blessed pontificate.”
  • 21:26
  • 21:30
  • 21:50
    PA reports the media in Argentina have highlighted the pope's “frosty” relationship with President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.  The news caught representatives at the country’s Chamber of Deputies in full session and paying homage to the recently deceased president Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. Clarin newspaper reported on its website that deputies aligned with Ms Fernandez refused to interrupt the tribute to Mr Chavez despite heated protests from the opposition.
  • 22:01
    Reuters reports that he monks at the convent of St. Francis in Assisi were overjoyed on Wednesday when Cardinal Jorge 
    Bergoglio of Argentina was elected and decided to be the first pontiff in Catholic history to take the name Francis. "For us in the Basilica in Assisi that holds the body (of St. Francis, this choice (of a name) prompted a surge of admiration ...," said Father Mauro Gambetti, the abbot of the monastery. St. Francis still points to the path of humility and evangelical simplicity ... the path that the new pope indicated in his first words addressed to the Church," he said. "That Church, which for St. Francis is the face of tenderness, is ready to encounter every man and recognise him as a brother. That is the face of tenderness that we saw in Pope Francis," he said. St. Francis, who died in 1226, is associated with peace and simplicity. He relinquished his earthly goods and lived a life of poverity and simplicity. He was the founder of the Franciscan order of priests and nuns, who run schools, hospitals and charities around the world.
  • 22:16
  • 22:24
    A taste of Paddy Agnew's front page lead in tomorrow's newspaper:

    'Given his track record as a defender of the poor, he may prove to be the Catholic Church’s version of Barack Obama in that he could well generate unrealizable hopes and expectations about the future of the Church. In St. Peter’s Square last night, there were literally people jumping for joy.'
  • 22:33
  • 22:41
    Here's an interesting theory on why Pope Francis was elected. The late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez may have had a hand in Christ's decision to opt for a Latin American pope, acting President Nicolas Maduro said on Wednesday.' We know that our commander ascended to the heights and is face-to-face with Christ,' Maduro said at a Caracas book fair. 'Something influenced the choice of a South American pope, someone new arrived at Christ's side and said to him: 'Well, it seems to us South America's time has come.''
  • 22:48
  • 23:06
    That's it from me for this evening. You can continue to follow the story overnight and into the morning on irishtimes.com