7's Kim Khazei live from Rome on Pope Francis' election
VATICAN CITY (WHDH) -- Catholics met their new leader on Wednesday. He is a pioneer pope from Argentina who took the name Francis, a pastor rather than a manger to resurrect a church and faith in crisis.
7News’ Kim Khazei was there for the pope’s election and said the event was indescribable -- the energy, excitement and love for the new pope.
Pope Francis is the first pontiff from the New world and the first non-European since the Middle Ages. He wasn’t a favorite going in to the conclave and only took two days to elect him.
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the archbishop of Buenos Aires who has spent nearly his entire career in Argentina, was a fast and fitting choice for the most unpredictable papal succession -- start to finish -- in at least six centuries. There are many firsts for Pope Francis: He’s the first Jesuit pope, the first pope from the New World, and the first from Latin America, where 40 percent of the world’s Catholics live.
The announcement that a new pope was chosen came at the end of a long, rainy day. The morning brought black smoke and then just after 7 p.m. in Rome, white smoke billowed from the chimney. About an hour after the smoke, Bergoglio walked out onto the balcony overlooking St. Peter’s Square to greet the world as the new pope.
The crowd surged forward for a better view.
“Unbelievable that it happened this fast,” said Scot Landry of the Archdiocese of Boston. “I’m overjoyed to be so close here in St. Peter’s Square. It’s the moment of a lifetime.”
The sound of bells was soon replaced with song. All eyes moved from the white smoke to the balcony of St. Peter’s as Pope Francis greeted the world for the first time.
“I think [Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley is] thrilled. He’ll be thrilled and he’ll be glad that they’ve chosen the right man,” said Terry Donilon of the Archdiocese of Boston. “He said he had a round trip ticket, he’s going to use it.”
The humble Argentine led the crowd in prayer from the balcony, bowing to them and asking them to silently pray for him. A move that comes as no surprise to those that know him.
“You can see the humility of the man. You can see the calm of the man,” said Cardinal Edward Egan, archbishop of New York Emeritus. “I know the strength of the man and the compassion of the man.”