White smoke at Vatican, conclave elects new pope

VATICAN CITY (AP) - The Catholic church has chosen a new pope. Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio has been elected pope — the first pontiff from Americas.

White smoke billowed from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel. 115 cardinals in the papal conclave elected the new leader for the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.

The new pope appeared on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica after a church official announced "Habemus Papum" — "We have a pope" — and gave the name of the new pontiff in Latin.

The conclave was called after Pope Benedict XVI resigned last month, throwing the church into turmoil and exposing deep divisions among cardinals tasked with finding a manager to clean up a corrupt Vatican bureaucracy as well as a pastor who can revive Catholicism in a time of growing secularism.

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