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Argentine elected pope on second day of ballots

By Xinhua in Rome | China Daily | Updated: 2013-03-15 07:18

Argentine Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, the archbishop of Buenos Aires, was elected the new pope on Wednesday on the second day of secret ballots at a cardinals' conclave in Vatican City.

As thousands of believers and international journalists waited for news in St Peter's Square, white smoke poured from the chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel and church bells pealed to announce a pope had been elected.

Bergoglio, the first Jesuit to become pope, chose the name Francis.

5 ballots held

After studying in Germany, he became bishop of Buenos Aires in 1992 and archbishop in 1998. A strong supporter of helping the poor, he was made cardinal in 2001.

The secret conclave began on Tuesday night with a first ballot, and four ballots were held on Wednesday. On the fifth ballot, he received the required two-thirds majority vote.

His predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, resigned at the end of last month after surprising the world by saying he no longer had the mental and physical strength to continue in the position.

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